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What the Dog Saw
Cover of What the Dog Saw
What the Dog Saw
And Other Adventures
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Malcolm Gladwell focuses on "minor geniuses" and idiosyncratic behavior to illuminate the ways all of us organize experience in this "delightful" (Bloomberg News) collection of writings from The New Yorker.


What is the difference between choking and panicking? Why are there dozens of varieties of mustard-but only one variety of ketchup? What do football players teach us about how to hire teachers? What does hair dye tell us about the history of the 20th century?


In the past decade, Malcolm Gladwell has written three books that have radically changed how we understand our world and ourselves: The Tipping Point; Blink; and Outliers. Now, in What the Dog Saw, he brings together, for the first time, the best of his writing from The New Yorker over the same period.


Here is the bittersweet tale of the inventor of the birth control pill, and the dazzling inventions of the pasta sauce pioneer Howard Moscowitz. Gladwell sits with Ron Popeil, the king of the American kitchen, as he sells rotisserie ovens, and divines the secrets of Cesar Millan, the "dog whisperer" who can calm savage animals with the touch of his hand. He explores intelligence tests and ethnic profiling and "hindsight bias" and why it was that everyone in Silicon Valley once tripped over themselves to hire the same college graduate.


"Good writing," Gladwell says in his preface, "does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade. It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else's head." What the Dog Saw is yet another example of the buoyant spirit and unflagging curiosity that have made Malcolm Gladwell our most brilliant investigator of the hidden extraordinary.

Malcolm Gladwell focuses on "minor geniuses" and idiosyncratic behavior to illuminate the ways all of us organize experience in this "delightful" (Bloomberg News) collection of writings from The New Yorker.


What is the difference between choking and panicking? Why are there dozens of varieties of mustard-but only one variety of ketchup? What do football players teach us about how to hire teachers? What does hair dye tell us about the history of the 20th century?


In the past decade, Malcolm Gladwell has written three books that have radically changed how we understand our world and ourselves: The Tipping Point; Blink; and Outliers. Now, in What the Dog Saw, he brings together, for the first time, the best of his writing from The New Yorker over the same period.


Here is the bittersweet tale of the inventor of the birth control pill, and the dazzling inventions of the pasta sauce pioneer Howard Moscowitz. Gladwell sits with Ron Popeil, the king of the American kitchen, as he sells rotisserie ovens, and divines the secrets of Cesar Millan, the "dog whisperer" who can calm savage animals with the touch of his hand. He explores intelligence tests and ethnic profiling and "hindsight bias" and why it was that everyone in Silicon Valley once tripped over themselves to hire the same college graduate.


"Good writing," Gladwell says in his preface, "does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade. It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else's head." What the Dog Saw is yet another example of the buoyant spirit and unflagging curiosity that have made Malcolm Gladwell our most brilliant investigator of the hidden extraordinary.

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 30, 2009
    Gladwell's fourth book comprises various contributions to the New Yorker
    and makes for an intriguing and often hilarious look at “the hidden extraordinary.” He wonders “what... hair dye tell us about twentieth century history,” and observes firsthand “dog whisperer” Cesar Millan's uncanny ability to understand and be understood by his pack. Gladwell pulls double duty as author and narrator; while his delivery isn't the most dramatic or commanding, the material is frequently astonishing, and his reading is clear, heartfelt, and makes for genuinely pleasurable listening. A Little, Brown hardcover.

  • Library Journal

    November 15, 2009
    Gladwell ("The Tipping Point") has gathered 22 of his pieces that have appeared in "The New Yorker" since 1996, arranging them into three sections: "Obsessive, Pioneers, and Other Varieties of Minor Genius," "Theories, Predictions, and Diagnoses," and "Personality, Character and Intelligence." Fans who are not familiar with Gladwell's articles will be delighted to discover that his shorter work contains the same level of insight, wit, and talent for making the mundane fascinating as they've come to expect from his longer work. Gladwell's writing here is filled with colorful characters, acute analyses, and intriguing questions. However, be warned that the organization of the articles by topic rather than by date can be confusing, especially since much of what Gladwell is discussing has since changed. For instance, although articles about the "Challenger" explosion, the stock market, and Enron all have postscripts about developments that occurred after the original publication of these pieces, the original publication dates are indicated neither in the table of contents nor at the start of the pieces, frustrating readers' attempts to learn what time period each article covers. VERDICT Fans of Gladwell's writing will want to add this to their bookshelves. [See Prepub Alert, "LJ" 6/15/09.]April Younglove, Rochester Regional Lib. Council, NY

    Copyright 2009 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    October 15, 2009
    Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point (2000), Blink (2005), and Outliers (2008), is a staff writer for the New Yorker, in whose pages he has published many thought-provoking and just-plain-offbeat essays. This collection brings some of those together, including a profile of Ron Popeil, the television pitchman; an analysis of the downfall of Enron, with special emphasis on the easy availability of information; an intriguing look at criminal profiling; an exploration of why there are so few brands of ketchup on the market; an account of a case of plagiarism in which Gladwell was one of the victims; a chronicle of the development of hair dye and its social ramifications; and a consideration of the phenomenon of dog whispering (this essay gives the book its title). As in his best-selling books, Gladwell displays an easygoing writing style and a sharp critical mind. This is the kind of essay collection you can read from cover to cover or, just as satisfactorily, dip into a bit at a time.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2009, American Library Association.)

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What the Dog Saw
And Other Adventures
Malcolm Gladwell
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