Talking to Strangers - Malcolm Gladwell

Talking to Strangers

By Malcolm Gladwell

  • Release Date: 2019-09-10
  • Genre: Sociology
Score: 4
From 1,511 Ratings


A Best Book of the Year: The Financial Times, Bloomberg, Chicago Tribune, and Detroit Free Pres
Malcolm Gladwell, host of the podcast Revisionist History and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Outliers, offers a powerful examination of our interactions with strangers -- and why they often go wrong.
How did Fidel Castro fool the CIA for a generation? Why did Neville Chamberlain think he could trust Adolf Hitler? Why are campus sexual assaults on the rise? Do television sitcoms teach us something about the way we relate to each other that isn't true?
While tackling these questions, Malcolm Gladwell was not solely writing a book for the page. He was also producing for the ear. In the audiobook version of Talking to Strangers, you'll hear the voices of people he interviewed--scientists, criminologists, military psychologists. Court transcripts are brought to life with re-enactments. You actually hear the contentious arrest of Sandra Bland by the side of the road in Texas. As Gladwell revisits the deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, and the suicide of Sylvia Plath, you hear directly from many of the players in these real-life tragedies. There's even a theme song - Janelle Monae's "Hell You Talmbout."
Something is very wrong, Gladwell argues, with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don't know. And because we don't know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world.


  • Enlightening as Usual

    By Kjbrew1
    Gladwell puts together another string of familiar occurrences and then pulls them apart to help us understand why we do what we do. Entertaining, enlightening and informative.
  • Love

    By YourMom84
    I couldn’t say enough good things about this book. I love this author and am so relieved and delighted to see him defend unusual and/or misunderstood people in such a relevant and powerful way. It’s so important to stay humble when it comes to our perception of others intentions
  • Great Listen

    By Jen Kpp
    I listened to the audio version and found it fascinating. I would imagine you don’t get the same experience from reading it so if you can, listen instead.
  • Well done

    By AidaLone
    Everything Malcomb Gladwell does is wonderful, including this book. It’s well written and well researched. Important subject matter and well worth the read.
  • Not his best

    By Colzac
    To not discuss race as part of transparency is ridiculous. Many have been trained by society to default to the worst human traits when they deal with African Americans who are strangers. For the author not to address these prejudices is extremely short sighted. Not one of his best books.
  • Scattered mess

    By jackstraw212
    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of Malcom’s other books, but this was just a meandering , dispersed opinion piece that has no point other than show an incredible bias from the author. I was thrilled when it was over. Disappointing.
  • Progressive bs

    By inytrec
    I’m sure they will have students reading this because it’s full of fake news used to push social justice and progressive views. I think we’ve had enough of this crap.
  • Poorly worded

    By intifued reader
    This book is very poorly worded, very disappointed
  • What’s the point?

    By BenjiSwift
    Wish I read the reviews before purchasing. Re-reading chapters because I feel like I’m missing the punchline. Some chapters are disturbing to read, no disclaimer or no context given. Hard read, doesn’t get better.
  • Talking to Strangers

    By BHN 85
    Gladwell’s style comes through again in a brilliant way. Bringing current topics to bare with insight and perspective that fascinates.