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Malcolm Gladwell’s “David & Goliath” Asks Us To Pity the Rich

The SHAME Project was the first to expose Malcolm Gladwell as one of America's most successful propagandists. In May 2012, we told the story of how Gladwell began as a college Republican, received journalist training at the tobacco-funded National Journalism Center and then throughout his career used his books and articles to run cover for pharmaceutical companies, big tobacco, the health insurance industry and Wall Street fraudsters — all while pocketing serious cash as a sought-after corporate speaker, earning $1 million a year, sometimes from the very same corporations and industry groups he happens to promote and defend in print.

Writing in NSFWCORP, Yasha Levine reviews Malcolm's Gladwell's latest bestseller, "David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants." And it ain't pretty:

Ever since Malcolm Gladwell’s “David and Goliath” came out in early October, he's been on a non-stop promotional tour. He's appeared on the BBC and the Daily Show, he's done Twitter group chats and Ted Talk Q&As, and has had negative and positive reviews published in dozens of media outlets, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Guardian. But despite all this PR attention, as far as I can tell, no one's really described in plain English what the book is about. And that's just weird…

So let me be the first: The book is about pitying the rich. Its central thesis: being poor, crippled and/or discriminated against helps you succeed in life.

"We spend a lot of time thinking about the ways that prestige and resources and belonging to elite institutions make us better off. We don’t spend enough time thinking about the ways in which those kinds of material advantages limit our options.”

"David and Goliath" is the right book for our times. America is in the grips of historic economic inequality, unemployment and misery; it’s being looted and trashed by finance hucksters and extraction industry oligarchs, while its citizens are disengaged and distracted and too tired and overworked to really do much about it.

Gladwell offers to soothe this swirling world of shit, misery, exploitation and corruption with a simple counterintuitive message: People who live paycheck to paycheck or dig in the trash, well, they're not as disadvantaged as popular wisdom would have us believe. The truly disadvantaged are the rich. Because wealth, power, mansions, Porsches, private jets, servants, elite private schools, influence and access — all those great things — are barriers preventing them from realizing their true potential and achieving success. In short: Wealth holds you back.

Read the full review over at


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