Gladwell, Malcolm. (2000). The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can make a Big Difference. (EN-0282)
Boston: Little Brown and Co. ISBN: 0-316-31696-2. (hardback)

Editorial reviews from

Editorial Reviews
"The best way to understand the dramatic transformation of unknown books into bestsellers, or the rise of teenage smoking, or the phenomena of word of mouth or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life," writes Malcolm Gladwell, "is to think of them as epidemics. Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do." Although anyone familiar with the theory of memetics will recognize this concept, Gladwell's The Tipping Point has quite a few interesting twists on the subject.

For example, Paul Revere was able to galvanize the forces of resistance so effectively in part because he was what Gladwell calls a "Connector": he knew just about everybody, particularly the revolutionary leaders in each of the towns that he rode through. But Revere "wasn't just the man with the biggest Rolodex in colonial Boston," he was also a "Maven" who gathered extensive information about the British. He knew what was going on and he knew exactly whom to tell. The phenomenon continues to this day--think of how often you've received information in an e-mail message that had been forwarded at least half a dozen times before reaching you.

Gladwell develops these and other concepts (such as the "stickiness" of ideas or the effect of population size on information dispersal) through simple, clear explanations and entertainingly illustrative anecdotes, such as comparing the pedagogical methods of Sesame Street and Blue's Clues, or explaining why it would be even easier to play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon with the actor Rod Steiger. Although some readers may find the transitional passages between chapters hold their hands a little too tightly, and Gladwell's closing invocation of the possibilities of social engineering sketchy, even chilling, The Tipping Point is one of the most effective books on science for a general audience in ages. It seems inevitable that "tipping point," like "future shock" or "chaos theory," will soon become one of those ideas that everybody knows--or at least knows by name. --Ron Hogan --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

The New York Times Book Review, Alan Wolfe
...a lively, timely and engaging study of fads.... The Tipping Point is worth reading just for what it tells us about how we try to make sense out of the world. --This text refers to the
Hardcover edition.

New York Times, 2/28/00
"Malcolm Gladwell proposes a fascinating and possibly useful theory in "The Tipping Point"...what makes his book so appealing is the way he approaches his subject...he follows his precept of his subtitle and explores the little things that make a big difference..." --This text refers to the
Hardcover edition.

From AudioFile
Why is it that fashion trends change the way we dress? Why do various TV shows, movies, and books become so popular? Malcolm Gladwell provides a diagram of our society, along with an analysis of the strategies people apply to influence and mold its direction. Gladwell describes the personality types that create trends and those that influence others by "spreading the word." History takes on a whole new perspective as he describes events of early America that specifically follow his theories of "selling the public on an idea" and "social epidemics." Feedback from market mavericks further substantiates Gladwell's viewpoints. B.J.P. AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine-- Copyright AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

From Booklist
Gladwell, a New Yorker staff writer, offers an incisive and piquant theory of social dynamics that is bound to provoke a paradigm shift in our understanding of mass behavioral change. Defining such dramatic turnarounds as the abrupt drop in crime on New York's subways, or the unexpected popularity of a novel, as epidemics, Gladwell searches for catalysts that precipitate the "tipping point," or critical mass, that generates those events. What he finds, after analyzing a number of fascinating psychological studies, is that tipping points are attributable to minor alterations in the environment, such as the eradication of graffiti, and the actions of a surprisingly small number of people, who fit the profiles of personality types that he terms connectors, mavens, and salesmen. As he applies his strikingly counterintuitive hypotheses to everything from the "stickiness," or popularity, of certain children's television shows to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, Gladwell reveals that our cherished belief in the autonomy of the self is based in great part on wishful thinking. Donna Seaman --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Publisher's Weekly, 4/3/00
"...a particular boon for businesspeople looking for inspiration..." --This text refers to the
Hardcover edition.

Lisbeth Schorr, Harvard Project on Effective Interventions, and author of Common Purpose: Strengthening Families and Neighborhoods to Rebuild America
"...Gladwell manages to make sense of a tantalizing array of research findings." --This text refers to the
Hardcover edition.

-Jeffrey Toobin, author of A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal that Nearly Brought Down a President
"The Tipping Point is one of those rare books that changes the way you think about, well, everything. A combination of lucid explanation with vivid (and often funny) real-world examples, the book sets out to explain nothing less than why human beings behave the way they do. And, astonishingly, Malcolm Gladwell had the smarts and panache to pull it off." --This text refers to the
Hardcover edition.

--Commissioner William J. Bratton
"The Primary reason for the historic and rapid declines in crime and disorder in the subways and on the streets of New York City in the early 1990s was police activity. Police focused their activities on controlling illegal behavior to such an extent that they changed that behavior. Malcolm Gladwell's book and its theories, particularly the 'Power of Context,' clearly describes how crime and disorder were rapidly 'tipped.' It is a vital and 'must read' addition to the on-going debate about what really causes crime and disorder and how best to deal with it." --This text refers to the
Hardcover edition.

--George Stephanopoulos
"Hip and hopeful, The Tipping Point, is like the idea it describes: concise, elegant but packed with social power. A book for anyone who cares about how society works and how we can make it better." --This text refers to the
Hardcover edition.

--Michael Lewis Author of Liar's Poker and The New New Thing
"What someone once said about the great Edmund Wilson is as true of Malcolm Gladwell: he gives ideas the quality of action. Here he's written a wonderful page turner about a fascinating idea that should effect the way every thinking person thinks about the world around him." --This text refers to the
Hardcover edition.

Chicago Tribune, 3/26/00
"...a fascinating account...valuable..." --This text refers to the
Hardcover edition.

US Magazine, 3/27/00
"Anyone interested in fads should read THE TIPPING POINT..." --This text refers to the
Hardcover edition.

Seattle Times, 3/24/00
"...a terrifically rewarding read..." --This text refers to the
Hardcover edition.

Time Out New York, 3/2-9/00
"...brimming with new theories on the science of manipulation..." --This text refers to the
Hardcover edition.

Book Description
"Why did crime in New York drop so suddenly in the mid-90s? How does an unknown novelist end up a bestselling author? Why is teenage smoking out of control, when everyone knows smoking kills? What makes TV shows like Sesame Street so good at teaching kids how to read? Why did Paul Revere succeed with his famous warning? In this brilliant and groundbreaking book, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in our society so often happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Ideas, behavior, messages, and products, he argues, often spread like outbreaks of infectious disease. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point.

In The Tipping Point, Gladwell introduces us to the particular personality types who are natural pollinators of new ideas and trends, the people who create the phenomenon of word of mouth. He analyzes fashion trends, smoking, children's television, direct mail and the early days of the American Revolution for clues about making ideas infectious, and visits a religious commune, a successful high-tech company, and one of the world's greatest salesmen to show how to start and sustain social epidemics. The Tipping Point is an intellectual adventure story written with an infectious enthusiasm for the power and joy of new ideas. Most of all, it is a road map to change, with a profoundly hopeful message--that one imaginative person applying a well-placed lever can move the world."

Book Info
A brilliant and groundbreaking book. Author looks at why major changes in our society so often happen suddenly and unexpectedly. An intellectual adventure story written with an infectious enthusiasm for the power and joy of new ideas. DLC: Social psychology. --This text refers to the
Hardcover edition.

About the Author
Malcolm Gladwell is a former business and science writer at the Washington Post. He is currently a staff writer for The New Yorker