WHAT THE DOG SAW
BY MALCOLM GLADWELL
Over the past decade, Malcolm Gladwell has become the most gifted and influential journalist in America. In The New Yorker, his writings are such must-reads that the magazine charges advertisers significantly more money for ads that run within his articles. With his #1 bestsellers, The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers, he has reached millions of readers. And now the very best and most famous of his New Yorker pieces are collected in a brilliant and provocative anthology. Among the pieces: his investigation into why there are so many different kinds of mustard but only one kind of ketchup; a surprising assessment of what makes for a safer automobile; a look at how we hire when we can't tell who's right for the job; an examination of machine built to predict hit movies; the reasons why homelessness might be easier to solve than manage; his famous profile of inventor and entrepreneur Ron Popeil; a look at why employers love personality tests; a dissection of Ivy League admissions and who gets in; the saga of the quest to invent the perfect cookie; and a look at hair dye and the hidden history of postwar America. For the millions of Malcolm Gladwell fans, this anthology is like a greatest hits compilation-a mix tape from America's alpha mind
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer with The New Yorker magazine since 1996. His 1999 profile of Ron Popeil 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 three books, "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference," (2000) , "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking" (2005), and "Outliers: The Story of Success" (2008) all of which were number one New York Times bestsellers.
From 1987 to 1996, he was a reporter with the Washington Post, where he covered business, science, and then served as the newspaper's New York City bureau chief. He 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.
Malcolm Gladwell’s WHAT THE DOG SAW is a compilation of essays he has written and were originally published in “The New Yorker” magazine. The title comes from one of the essays about Cesar Milan, known as the Dog Whisperer, a show I love to watch. In that particular essay Gladwell writes of Milan’s escape from Mexico to the United States by sneaking across the border from Mexico when he was only 21 years old. Cesar found a job in a pet shop that did dog grooming. He was allowed to sleep in the office at night which helped him get started in this new country. Milan discussed what Milan now does as the Dog Whisperer and how it was in that shop that he first learned to calm even the wildest or most disturbed dogs with firmness and a slight touch of his hand. Gladwell wondered when talking to Milan and writing the essay just what was the dog thinking through all this? And then, he thought, what did the dog actually SEE during these training sessions to help his behavior? So Gladwell titled his book after that essay because he felt quite strongly about the dog and what all he might be seeing when this training is going on….thus WHAT THE DOG SAW.
Gladwell covers subjects and interesting, unique people from Cesar Milan to the kitchen invention guru, Ron Popeil. Ideas are covered also and these include some like “Are Smart People Overrated?”, “Obsessives, Pioneers, and Other Varieties of Minor Genius”, “What Do Job Interviews Really Tell Us?”, and one of my favorites is “Mustard Comes in Dozens of Varieties. Why has Ketchup Stayed the Same?”. You can see from just these sample titles that these essays would provoke a reaction and get you thinking. When Ron Popeil was the topic, Gladwell called that essay “Ron Popeil and the Conquest of the American Kitchen”.
I would be remiss if I, a retired teacher of 37 years, didn’t mention the essay on “Most Likely to Succeed”. He uses research and information he collected from different educational researchers and then puts his own spin on it. His result? The findings can predict what star quarterbacks in high school and college will make it to the NFL and continue in that role successfully. His mention that it would really help students if the teachers working with students had actually earned a real teaching certificate as well as some advance degrees like a master’s. That may seem to most to be obvious but one must also take into account that it is not always true AND when it is, who shoulders the cost and time for those extra college credits? I will let you think about it and pray you come up with the correct answer even before you read/listen to this surprisingly amusing and interesting book.
The Audio Book version, read by Malcolm Gladwell, has 10 CDs and over 20 essays. I think this was a particularly good book to listen to as an audio because I could get a “whole story”---one essay, finished in one sitting and not be left in the middle of a story line. I think you won’t be sorry if you listen to, or read, WHAT THE DOG SAW by Malcolm Gladwell. Good luck!
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