Featuring a new afterword.
Why did crime in New York drop in the mid-90s? Why is teenage smoking out of control? Why are television shows like Sesame Street good at teaching kids how to read?
In The Tipping Point, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in society happen suddenly and unexpectedly. 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 when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point.
Gladwell uncovers the personality types who are natural pollinators of new ideas and trends. He analyzes fashion trends, smoking, children's television, direct mail and the early days of the American Revolution for clues about making ideas infectious.
The Tipping Point is an intellectual adventure story with an infectious enthusiasm for the power and joy of new ideas. Most of all, it is a road map to change, with a profoundly hopeful message: that one imaginative person applying a well-placed lever can move the world.
Why we think it's Essential: Like the best social dynamics professor you never had, Malcolm Gladwell deconstructs a wide range of phenomena (from the reduction of crime in New York to the rise of Sesame Street) to deliver a fascinating understanding of how "social epidemics" spread. And while author/narrators are often a mixed blessing, Gladwell is so friendly and well-paced that I was actually disappointed when The Tipping Point was over. Ed Walloga
"Gladwell, a New Yorker staff writer, offers an incisive and piquant theory of social dynamics that is bound to provoke a paradigm shift in our understanding of mass behavioral change." (Booklist)
"Hip and hopeful, The Tipping Point is like the idea it describes: concise, elegant, but packed with social power. A book for anyone who cares about how society works and how we can make it better." (George Stephanopoulos)
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Makes sense to me.