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The Tipping Point
How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

By Malcolm Gladwell
Read by Malcolm Gladwell

    Malcolm Gladwell, a staff writer for New Yorker Magazine, in The Tipping Point, writes a fascinating study of human behavior patterns, and shows us where the smallest things can trigger an epidemic of change.  Though loaded with statistics, the numbers are presented in a way that makes the book read like an exciting novel.  Gladwell also gives several examples in history, where one small change in behavior created a bigger change on a national level.  He also studies the type of person or group that it takes to make that change. 

    Gladwell's first example is the resurgence of the popularity of Hush Puppies, which had long been out of fashion, and were only sold in small shoe stores.  Suddenly, a group of teenage boys in East Village, New York, found the cool to wear.  Word-of-mouth advertising that these trend-setters were wearing the once-popular suede shoes set off an epidemic of fashion change, and boys all over America had to have the "cool" shoes. 

      Galdwell also examines the difference in personality it takes to trigger the change.  For example, we all know of Paul Revere's famous ride, but how many of us know that William Dawes made a similar ride?  The difference was that people listened to Revere and not to Dawes.  Why?  Revere knew so many different people.  He knew who led which village, knew which doors to knock on to rouse the colonists.  Dawes didn't know that many people and therefore could only guess which people to give his message. 

There are several other phenomena that Gladwell examines, showing the small things that spark a change, from the dip in the New York City crime rate to the correlation between depression, smoking and teen suicide.  If you want to change the world for the better, this book will give you an insight into the methods that work, and those that will backfire.  It's all in knowing where to find The Tipping Point.

"The Tipping Point" is read by the author.

The Book

Time Warner Audio / Time Warner
January 1, 2005
Audio book
Non-Fiction/Current Affairs
More at 

Audio Excerpt

NOTE: Be sure to listen to his latest work "Blink."

The Reviewer

Jo Rogers
Reviewed 2005
© 2005