Sunday, February 28, 2016
In his book, Gladwell outlines tales of the underdog and challenges the reader to view being the underdog...as not always undesirable! There are advantages to being the underdog. He discusses examples of people rising from the loss of parents, dyslexia, mediocre colleges, persecution, and political oppression. He uses a series of stories to outline his points. While not a scientific work, the stories are challenging to a typical worldview. Small is not always weak. Large is not always strong.
My favorite part of the book was the portion that described stories from famous and less famous black civil rights activists. We played this portion out loud to my teenage son, and it struck his interest as well. "Are these people real?" Wyatt Walker was described in the book the Brer Rabbit of civil rights. He staged protests and riots with hopes of tricking authorities into arresting and causing a national scene to draw attention to racism and inequality. His strategies were very carefully thought out and enacted. In all ways he was an underdog, but he used that to his advantage.
Overall this was a fun read - full of anecdotes of unlikely successes. It will change how you view "the underdog."