Talking to Strangers

Talking to Strangers

What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know

eBook - 2019
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Publisher: [S.l.]: Little, Brown and Company, 2019.
ISBN: 9780316535588
Branch Call Number: eBook CloudLibrary
Characteristics: 1 online resource

Opinion

From Library Staff

If you like: Investigative journalism, psychology, society and culture. An exploration of miscommunication between strangers, with analysis of Neville Chamberlain’s assessment of Hitler, Stanley Milgrim’s prison experiment, double agents bamboozling the CIA in Cuba, the Sandra Bland and Bernie Ma... Read More »


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JCLAmandaAW Jul 10, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. After listening to it I read some reviews and people were unhappy with what they felt was a lack of resolution to the issues Gladwell brought up in the book. I considered these points that we maybe do not have answers for but deserve some additional contemplation. I also appreciated that Gladwell used the actual audio clips of people discussing various topics rather than simply quoting them. Overall this audiobook was one of my favorites.

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bceccoli
May 12, 2020

In addition to the insightful perceptions of Malcolm Gladwell regarding the tools and strategies we use to evaluate the strangers we meet this book has interesting ties to Kansas City. He reviews multiple case studies about Kansas City’s efforts to reduce crime. Starting in the 1970’s Kansas City tried to improve the way police deployed their forces to reduce crime by employing a criminologist. It was the first of several attempts that ultimately became known as the “Kansas City Model”. Gladwell takes a critical look at how our attempts to learn why people act as they do and why anticipating their behavior is so fraught with problems.

Gladwell’s well researched investigations reviews how Cuba was able to plant spies within our intelligence agencies, why Neville Chamberlain placed his trust in Hitler and how Bernard Madoff was able to fraudulently gain the trust of many seemingly sophisticated investors. Gladwell illustrates why talking with strangers is more complex than we ever knew and our how assumptions can lead us down paths that can have devastating consequences.

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writermala
Mar 20, 2020

Malcolm Gladwell has written a book about various scenarios where understanding strangers has come to the fore. Each of these topics is interesting and we learn what we should know about the people we don't know. As Lionel Beehner says Gladwell could probably make a pencil sharpener interesting, if he were given an assignment to write about it. He is a wonderful reporter and writes well about the most mundane topics.

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philinehillas
Mar 08, 2020

Excellent book with several key points well supported by research and by actual events. Unique way of viewing our assumptions and how they can lead us to disastrous conclusions. Very readable. It has expanded and informed my previous way of looking at people and events in the world. Highly recommend it.

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bensalk
Mar 08, 2020

Very interesting read! This was my first Gladwell book, and I am sure it won't be my last. This book takes a deep dive into the intricacies of human psychology, particularly around deception. Although this is the main focus, the book also touches on other seemingly unrelated topics which are nonetheless eventually integrated with the main theme of the book. Gladwell is quite talented! As you'll find, and as I have alluded to, he has a profound capacity to deeply explore a subject while maintaining a wide lens though which to do so. The book elucidates many very interesting stories, from the interactions of Cortes and Montezuma to the finds of an anthropologist in Bolivia. This book is a great read for just about anyone, but particularly for those who like variation in their reads. Enjoy!

VaughanPLTiziana Feb 24, 2020

A good read with some interesting insights. Malcolm Gladwell investigates what can go wrong when we interact with people we don't know. He uses many real scenarios from throughout history. I enjoyed the psychology aspect of this book and the many studies he discusses.

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sgill3
Feb 20, 2020

Malcolm Gladwell is one of my favorite authors!

JCLHollyB Feb 20, 2020

In this approachable, Science-based read author Malcolm Gladwell questions the capacity people have to actually assess another person's character, competency, emotions, and even guilt of a crime. He cites recent high attention cases, including both the Sandra Bland and Brock Turner cases, working to inspire the reader to question not only their immediate perceptions, but, what our perceptions are based on, and why we have them.

It was a heady, captivating read that most literally sent me into a bigger, better paradigm of thinking. I recommend this book to anyone excited to question reality as they see it. A must read!

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patcarstensen
Feb 12, 2020

There are about 3 big ideas in 345 pages, and I wish he had gotten to conclusions better than "we don't do a very good job at some things, but doing a good job would be result in a world worse than what we have." But it is a fun book.

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Einer2
Jan 29, 2020

As always Malcolm gives us an alternate way of looking at the world and the people and situations around us in a different way. It's unfortunate that network news doesn't use him to explain some of the ways he sees and interprets things.

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Quotes

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VaughanPLTiziana Feb 24, 2020

"We think we can easily see into the hearts of others based on the flimsiest of clues. We jump at the chance to judge strangers. We would never do that to ourselves, of course. We are nuanced and complex and enigmatic. But the stranger is easy. If I can convince you of one thing in this book, let it be this: Strangers are not easy."

"We have a default to truth: our operating assumption is that the people we are dealing with are honest."

"Default to truth becomes an issue when we are forced to choose between two alternatives, one of which is likely and the other of which is impossible to imagine."

"You believe someone not because you have no doubts about them. Belief is not the absence of doubt. You believe someone because you don’t have enough doubts about them."

"When we confront a stranger, we have to substitute an idea—a stereotype—for direct experience. And that stereotype is wrong all too often."

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JENNIFERES
Feb 08, 2020

The first set of mistakes we make with strangers - the default to truth and the illusion of transparency - has to do with our inability to make sense of the stranger as an individual. But on top of those errors we add another, which pushes our problem with strangers into crisis. We do not understand the importance of the context in which the stranger is operating.

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JENNIFERES
Feb 08, 2020

Sometimes the best conversations between strangers allow the stranger to remain a stranger. (p. XII)

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Docenos
Feb 03, 2020

Docenos thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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libraryeri
Nov 26, 2019

libraryeri thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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libraryeri
Nov 26, 2019

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Explorations of how to catch child molesters could be triggering for those with a history

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libraryeri
Nov 26, 2019

Sexual Content: Explorations of how to catch child molesters could be triggering for those with a history

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