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Extended Audio Sample The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference Audiobook, by Malcolm Gladwell Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (220,698 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Malcolm Gladwell Narrator: Malcolm Gladwell Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2007 ISBN: 9781600240089
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"The Tipping Point" was Malcolm Gladwell's first book, written in 2000, and has been followed up by three more books, all bestsellers. Like other books he's written, it analyzes social phenomena and tries to explain it in a different way. Most of us tend to look at the world as partly inexplicable and dependent on "chance" and partly ruled by human endeavor. However, Gladwell suggests that maybe there is a different way of looking at the world, deriving inspiration from the study of epidemics such as AIDS.

When epidemiologists study diseases, they find that a disease usually travels leisurely through a population at first and then suddenly reaches a point where it explodes and starts affecting large numbers of people. This was true of AIDS which reached the point of explosion, or the tipping point, in 1982 and started infecting many more people than before. Gladwell's point is that we can use the tipping point more generally in life to understand the phenomena around us. He gives the example of Hush Puppies, a style of footwear that had become increasingly less popular until its makers were almost ready to stop production when, all of a sudden, without the benefit of any advertising, Hush Puppies just took off. The reason, Gladwell believes, is because a certain group of people, who were very influential, started wearing hush puppies and induced those around them to do the same.

Gladwell also goes on to talk about three different kinds of people who are influential in spreading information. He refers to them as Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen. Connectors are people who have a large social network while Mavens are those who collect information, becoming experts on a certain topic. People naturally turn to Mavens when they need to know more about a certain topic. Salesmen are people who can be very persuasive and charismatic. The presence of people like these in society leads to the creation of fads like the popularity of Hush Puppies and the decline in the crime rate in NYC after Mayor Giuliani's term in office. There are, of course, destructive fads as well, such as smoking which continues to be popular among teens despite efforts to educate them about its dangers.

Gladwell theorizes that we can use knowledge of the tipping point to create good fads and prevent bad ones. He gives us another way of looking at the world and the opportunity to do some good by utilizing this information. His style is elegant but full of enthusiasm.

Malcolm Gladwell is a British-Canadian author who was born in Hampshire, England to a Jamaican mother and a British father. He was always ambitious, even as a little boy, and would run around the offices of the University of Waterloo where his father worked. This familiarized him with books and libraries. However, after graduating college, he wasn't entirely sure what he wanted to do and, after trying to get a job in advertising, he ended up writing for The American Spectator in Indiana. He moved to The Washington Post after a while and eventually ended up at The New Yorker. He has written four books which have all been on the NYT bestseller list.

Download The Tipping Point now from The Audio Bookstore and gain a fascinating insight into how the world works and what you can do to create change.

New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in our society so often happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Ideas, behavior, messages, and products, he argues, often spread like outbreaks of infectious disease. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment between when they take off to when they reach their critical mass is The Tipping Point.

Gladwell introduces us to the particular personality types who are natural pollinators of new ideas and trends, the people who create the phenomenon of word of mouth. He analyzes fashion trends, smoking, children’s television, direct mail, and the early days of the American Revolution for clues about making ideas infectious, and visits a religious commune, a successful high-tech company, and one of the world’s greatest salesmen to show how to start and sustain social epidemics.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell, is a lively, timely and engaging study of fads. Gladwell, who made his career in journalism as a science writer, has a knack for explaining psychological experiments clearly; The Tipping Point is worth reading just for what it tells us about how we try to make sense out of the world.”

    New York Times Book Review
  • Why is it that fashion trends change the way we dress? Why do various TV shows, movies, and books become so popular? Malcolm Gladwell provides a diagram of our society, along with an analysis of the strategies people apply to influence and mold its direction. Gladwell describes the personality types that create trends and those that influence others by "spreading the word." History takes on a whole new perspective as he describes events of early America that specifically follow his theories of "selling the public on an idea" and "social epidemics." Feedback from market mavericks further substantiates Gladwell's viewpoints. B.J.P. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine [Published: AUG/ SEPT 01]
  • “A fascinating book that makes you see the world in a different way.”

    Fortune

  • “Gladwell has a knack for rendering complex theories in clear, elegant prose, and he makes a charismatic tour guide. As a result, the book’s constant movement from one cultural realm to the next…never produces any literary motion sickness.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “An imaginative…treatise…it’s hard not to be persuaded by Gladwell’s thesis. Not only does he assemble a fascinating mix of facts in support of his theory…but he also manages to weave everything into a cohesive explanation of human behavior. There’s little doubt that the material will keep you awake.”

    Business Week

  • “A terrifically rewarding read.”

    Seattle Times

  • “This is a book that should be read by everyone in business, politics, marketing and advertising, as well as by anyone interested in trends, fashion, fads, policy making, and human behavior. In other words, all of us.”

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review

  • “Gladwell…offers an incisive and piquant theory of social dynamics that is bound to provoke a paradigm shift in our understanding of mass behavioral change…As he applies his strikingly counterintuitive hypotheses to everything from the ‘stickiness,’ or popularity, of certain children’s television shows to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, Gladwell reveals that our cherished belief in the autonomy of the self is based in great part on wishful thinking.”

    Booklist

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A Wall Street Journal Bestseller
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • A Washington Post Bestseller
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dave Steel | 2/20/2014

    " An interesting read. Gladwell gave plenty of examples to illustrate his theory. He was extremely repetitive, however, to the point that towards the end I felt myself reading to finish it and not to enjoy it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patricia | 2/20/2014

    " Very enjoyable marketing book! I loved the case studies he presently especially the crime stats in NYC, the 150 person clusters at Gore-tex and Peter Jennings' facial expressions. Some good concepts and tips on how to spread messages effectively and find the mavens out there. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tanisa Bernard | 2/18/2014

    " I would love to have Malcolm Gladwell over for a spirited discussion of his work and essays in the New Yorker:)! He makes you THINK:)! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mistymac | 2/16/2014

    " love love LOVE this book. gives you a different perspective on many things in life and opens your world up to a whole new way of thinking. i'll probably read this several times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amelia | 2/13/2014

    " It was good, and a fascinating point. He talks so much about "the Stickiness factor" (something that can stick with people will be the most influential), yet his book was so wordy, I found it didn't really "stick" with me. Although, I am probably entirely to blame for that. Not much sticks in my mind lately. It was interesting to read, if I could remember it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin | 2/10/2014

    " I really liked the beginning - the end got a little long. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stephen | 2/8/2014

    " I have no idea what all the hype about Malcolm Gladwell is. This was the 1st book of his I have read and I expect it will also be the last. The chapter on Sesame Street is the only portion I found interesting and the sole reason I gave this book two stars. Most of the chapters are boring and unnecessarily repetitive and the conclusions he reaches about topics like why teens smoke or why fads spread nationwide are so obvious, I often felt like I was reading a book written by someone in middle school. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shuvom Ghose | 2/5/2014

    " Great look at the hidden side of things. Excellent SCIENTIFIC look at how fads and movements work. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellen | 2/3/2014

    " Gladwell never disappoints. Great study of human behavior, interesting, thought provoking, and application to life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deirdre | 1/10/2014

    " Interesting book about how sometimes it's small changes that make the big changes happen. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth Jordan | 12/7/2013

    " Amazing sociological study that is easy to read and understand..... 10,000 hours is the magic number to become a successful expert. Ask Bill Gates or the Beatles. Read this! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janel | 11/27/2013

    " Love love love this book. It provides so much insight to why people do what they do from the broken windows theory to groupthink and perception. It's very interesting all the way through! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adam Henderson | 7/26/2013

    " Fantastic book, hoping to read again very soon. Will be guaranteed to change your outlook on life, society and business alike. A real insight on how the minute aspects of life can have a colossal impact on all others, well worth a read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samantha | 7/15/2013

    " Excellent book that displays the power that one person can have. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Stanley | 6/20/2013

    " It's Gladwell. Take a small point. Blow it up huge. Examine the heck out of it. Turns some stuff on its ear. Use great prose in the process. Read. Learn. Use. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lasse Gravesen | 2/15/2013

    " Audiobook. Pretty good though extremely confident in its message. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michele | 2/11/2013

    " How the little things can make a difference. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Millie | 1/25/2013

    " Good book, great info for someone trying to grow a business.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate Kaufman | 12/31/2012

    " Great book, very entertaining way to present the principles behind what turns something average into something memorable, popular and distinct. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gineve Rudolph | 12/6/2012

    " Great book! I love all of Malcolm Gladwell's books. Non-fiction writing within a story-telling style. Keeps a reader engaged throughout! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margit | 11/23/2012

    " I read about half of this book before it became due at the library. It was interesting, but not interesting enough that I would get it again to read the rest. It focused on the momentum of word-of-mouth spread of ideas (digitally and physically), and the different personality types involved. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anand | 10/6/2012

    " It's a good book, very insightful but I think glad well keeps harping on the same point. Topic is probably more suited to a long. Article than a book "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christine Hoover | 6/4/2012

    " Although I loved the stories and anecdotes, I was looking for more practical information. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jan Venus | 9/9/2011

    " Great thesis explained to death "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mtogo | 9/9/2011

    " Interesting ideas about what makes things popular! This was my first electronic checkout from the library! Yeah for me! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dale Jackson | 6/23/2011

    " Lots of interesting information and examples. Lots of observation with some speculation and no statistics or sciense that really seems to mean anything. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Liz | 5/21/2011

    " Needs less hyperbole, more science. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rich | 5/19/2011

    " A very interesting book.

    He does continue to propagate the Kitty Genonese story incorrectly, but otherwise a very fascinating book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allegra | 5/18/2011

    " Fantastic book. Although it's non-fiction it more or less reads like a thriller. I can't wait to read Outliers, which I just got from the library, in addition to Blink and What the Dog Said. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denise | 5/18/2011

    " I found this very interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scott | 5/17/2011

    " Interesting ideas, but I think Gladwell assumes to much and presents too little supporting evidence for this book to be truly great. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 5/16/2011

    " An amazing book on finding that small number of people who truly have the ability to make a difference "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sally | 5/16/2011

    " My three friends who read this book rated it 5 stars, 3 stars, 1 star. I'm in the middle. Best thing I learned was that we can only remember up to 7 things at once. Takeaway: Get those projects down to a manageable number! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tamara | 5/16/2011

    " Really interesting, a very unique look at thought epidemics, and the factors that contribute forming them. Really applicable to so many different arenas of society. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jude | 5/15/2011

    " But, but: Who specifically started the Hush Puppies rebirth? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melody | 5/11/2011

    " System dynamics for dummies. Interesting anectodtes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Philip | 5/11/2011

    " Human nature exposed as you've never seen before! That's the type of screaming headline this book deserves. The Tipping Point explores social epidemics and reveals the minor but compelling changes required to start an epidemic. Fascinating, great reading, and extremely well crafted. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ben | 5/9/2011

    " This book opened my eyes to new ways the world works. Gladwell is controversial in some circles, but I find his theories fascinating, insightful, and entertaining. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Max | 5/9/2011

    " Interesting and very fast read. My favorite part was his discussion of connectors and how they are vital to a society. "

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About the Author
Author Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer with the New Yorker since 1996. He is a former writer at the Washington Post and served as the newspaper’s New York City bureau chief. He has won a National Magazine Award, and in 2005 he was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. He is the author of four books: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference, Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking, and Outliers: The Story of Success, all of which were #1 New York Times bestsellers. His book What the Dog Saw is a compilation of stories published in the New Yorker. Gladwell graduated from the University of Toronto, Trinity College, with a degree in history. He was born in England, grew up in rural Ontario, and now lives in New York City.