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Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know

I think we are all guilty of making snap judgements of people we do not know. It is easy to do. Our preconceived notions of what someone looks like, how they are dressed or what they do for a living shapes what, or who, we think they will be. This, in turn, shapes how we react, or even just speak to them. How many people have we dismissed as difficult or simply not “our cup of tea” by a brief encounter?

Malcolm Gladwell takes a look at how we make sense of people we do not know. He is uses many real life and very familiar events to illustrate the consequences of not reading each other correctly, yet assuming we have. He uses examples ripped from the headlines such as Sandra Brown who was pulled over in Texas for a traffic infraction. Others you might recognize are Amanda Knox, the woman who was convicted of murdering a fellow exchange student; and Jerry Sandusky of Penn State fame. The stories were presented fairly and without bias, which I appreciated immensely.

If you enjoy Gladwell’s earlier books you will not be disappointed. Highly recommended!


Malcolm Gladwell


Little, Brown and Company



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