Talking to Strangers, the latest from bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell, is a book that goes a long way in explaining today’s political situation. It explains why people believe obvious falsehoods, trust people who lack credibility, and stubbornly refuse to question others’ poor judgment.
Although Gladwell believes he is delving into the psychology of encounters between strangers, he actually ends up exploring the internal mechanisms that guide conformity. Although it was almost certainly unintentional, he gives away the game that has allowed so many narratives to prevail among the masses, and in doing so empowers his readers with some helpful insights.
Read in this light, Talking to Strangers is one of Gladwell’s best books—second only to his now classic Outliers. Along with its relevance, his argument happens to be tighter and better supported than usual. He keeps his penchant for tangents to a minimum and makes a greater effort to explain where he’s going with his examples (unlike in David