Malcolm Gladwell is Wrong

From The Abbeville Manual of Style:

20061211gladwell_lgMalcolm Gladwell is one of the world’s best-selling authors and most prominent public intellectuals, having risen to superstardom on the basis of such volumes as The Tipping Point and Blink. He is a skilled and entertaining writer, exemplifying the modern New Yorker “house style” for journalism with its combination of solid research, amused detachment, and quirky anecdotes in the Ken Burns mold. Tragically, Gladwell is also often very wrong. His work, famous for its forays into sociology, social psychology, market research, and other trendy disciplines, is a testament to both the exciting possibilities and the intellectual limitations of those fields. His penchant for what might be called pop statistical analysis sometimes leads to elegant, well-supported, and counterintuitive conclusions, but just as often recalls the man who couldn’t possibly have drowned in that river because its average depth was five feet.

We bring all this up in large part because of an article called “Late Bloomers” that he wrote for last month’s New Yorker.

More here.