Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know Review

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.

Title:Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know
Edition Language:English

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    Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know Reviews

  • Emily May

    I was trying to work through my thoughts on this book when Goodreads did an interview with Malcolm Gladwell and this one thing he said just made everything clear for me: “I've never been a writer wh...

  • Mimi

    As I sat at the airport, head deep in a book, I suddenly heard, "Hi!" What? To my left stood a handsome man. "I just thought I should say hi since I see you're reading Talking to Strangers." I too tho...

  • BlackOxford

    Never Trust a Blood RelativeTalking to Strangers is an elaboration of a simple (trivial?) idea: It’s very difficult to tell when people are lying. According to Timothy Levine, the academic psycholog...

  • Allie

    TW: detailed descriptions of rape and pedophiliaIf it were possible to give a book negative stars, this would be a -10 for me.Malcolm Gladwell is incredibly influential. From books to podcasts to TED ...

  • Betsy

    9/2/2019--I'm knocking this down to two stars. Gladwell's really bad takes on things like race and sexual assault just don't deserve an okay rating.Wow, does this book ever suffer from a severe case o...

  • Megan

    UPDATE 9/23/19I have now changed this to one star. The more I read about this and other pseudo psych crap he pushes...no no no. The enjoyment of some parts of the book does not outweigh the total garb...

  • Gretchen Rubin

    I always feel lucky when I get to read a book before its official publication date. A fascinating, accessible examination of the miscommunications that can arise when we talk to strangers. We're going...

  • carol.

    Not for me, unless I feel like doing a rant-review. Which I'm not ruling out.Allie's insightful review on excusing those who excused pedophiles: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...Leftbanker's th...

  • Jennifer

    I DNF'd this book after reading too many cringey statements from Gladwell. He wants to categorize a whole range of evils -- from the victimization of unarmed black people (Sandra Bland) to women being...

  • Leftbanker

    If this had just been stories about spies and the meeting between Hernán Cortés and Montezuma or whatever, I would have rated it five stars. There’s no question that Malcolm Gladwell is a good sto...