The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I would dub this book "the ultimate term paper." Incisive research and clever applications make this a think piece with teeth.
With tremendous ambition, Malcolm Gladwell sets out to change the way people think and react to word-of-mouth advertising. Using an inconsistent but generally convincing array of case studies, he probes inside the inner workings of social phenomena, tracing them to their humble beginnings.
A few of Gladwell's examples ring hollow -- particularly a worshipful deconstruction of "Blue's Clues" and a questionable study of how 1980s TV news talking heads influenced voters -- but in general the book is sharp and illuminating.
Gladwell's pompous tone is a little distracting at times, but you have to set any prejudice aside and let the egghead on a mission keep his flow. At least he never bores, which is more than you can say for most term papers.
"The Tipping Point" should be a textbook in an essential marketing class at every business school.
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