by Lee DeVito
According to a press release:
In the spirit of his new book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, best-selling author and New Yorker staff writer Malcolm Gladwell decided to give the little guys a chance. Six independent bookstores across the country competed, via online voting, to earn the honor of hosting the last stop on the author's current tour. Thanks to tremendous community support, Ann Arbor's own Nicola's Books won with nearly double the votes of their nearest competitor.
As in his previous books, including The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference and Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Gladwell uses research in sociology and psychology to question conventional wisdom. David and Goliath challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages and offers a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks.
Gladwell is not without controversy, however. Critics accuse Gladwell of oversimplifying issues and an anecdote-heavy, pseudo-scientific approach. The Register critic Ashlee Vance wrote, “Gladwell has made a career out of handing simple, vacuous truths to people and dressing them up with flowery language and an impressionistic take on the scientific method.” In an essay “On Smarm,” Gawker writer (and former writer at Metro Times’ sister, Baltimore’s City Paper) Tom Scocca largely targeted Gladwell as an example of the times in appealing to the masses by avoiding negativity.
Gladwell's only other Midwestern stop is Chicago. Tickets are $15–$150, available at Nicola's Books, Literati Bookstore, and all Ticketmaster outlets (including ticketmaster.com).