warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

An Evening With Malcolm Gladwell

Yeo Jin Lee |
October 10, 2013 | 11:46 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

(Malcom Gladwell with Tim Long/Yeo Jin Lee)
(Malcom Gladwell with Tim Long/Yeo Jin Lee)
Malcolm Gladwell is an English-Canadian journalist, bestselling author and speaker. His beloved books, including "The Tipping Point" and "Blink", have consistently topped the “New York Times” Best Seller list. His most recent book is, “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants”.

As part of his current book tour, Gladwell participated in a Live Talks Los Angeles event in an overcrowded space at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple. Outside, a line of angry people stretched around the block (very un-Gladwell to be so mad). Luckily, I had the privilege of skipping the line as a member of the press for Neon Tommy. About an hour after the scheduled 8:00 p.m. start time, the program began. 

(Tim Long Interviewing Malcom Gladwell/Yeo Jin Lee)
(Tim Long Interviewing Malcom Gladwell/Yeo Jin Lee)
Tim Long, producer and writer for “The Simpsons”, sat down with Gladwell to interview him about, “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants”. The audience got a rare glimpse into his latest publication. Gladwell stated that “David and Goliath" tells the story of the weak learning to overtake the strong and powerful. 

He spoke in depth about his book having a different meaning than what appears on the surface.

Gladwell talked about the symbolism of Goliath and why his characters are the way they are. He also raised the question of why students drop out, suggesting it's clearly linked to perception as much as performance. Students are not dumb, but they feel dumb and therefore, drop out of school. 

READ MORE: The Unheard Story of David and Goliath

During the remaining segment of the Live Talk, Gladwell spoke about his childhood growing up with his family in Toronto, Canada. He said was he does not remember having many conversations at the dinner table with his parents because they are introverts. He explained how he spent many years trying to understand what his father was trying to say, which urged him to become a journalist to provide explanations to anything he could. 

(Malcom Gladwell Being Interviewed by Tim Long/Yeo Jin Lee)
(Malcom Gladwell Being Interviewed by Tim Long/Yeo Jin Lee)
The Live Talk provided people- and particularly fans of Gladwell- a chance to get to know him on a different level. It was clear that his reputation as a best-selling author is trumped only by the immense knowledge he has gained throughout his life.

Live Talks Los Angeles is an organization that works to bring leaders and speakers to the community. Featured guests include acclaimed artists, actors, writers, scientists, business and thought leaders. To check out other Live Talks Los Angeles events click here

Reach Staff Reporter Yeo Jin Lee here; Follow her on Twitter here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.