I have to say that this was average. A very average book that had many interesting stories (or adventures as Gladwell called them) but not many that stood out. I can think of four stories, technically three topics, that really stood out to me.
The first was one that dealt with plagiarism. Since I’m a new graduate from college, I definitely know all about that stuff and how important it is not to do that. Gladwell took a story — a woman who saw that a play had plagiarized her life — and reacted as most would: She sued. Yet, Gladwell spent so much time making us sympathize with the woman whose life was plagiarized, then took a chance to completely spin the story in a new way. He tried to make us see how the plagiarizer felt. And he succeeded in it. He grasped the way the woman felt, along with arguments against this being plagiarized. All in all, I thought it was an impressively written article that captured how plagiarism isn’t as clear-cut as we like to think.
Profiling is the next two articles he wrote about that impressed me. I’ll lump them together since they were on the same topic. Obviously, Gladwell has an issue with profiling, but the arguments were very different.
He wrote first about how criminal profiling came to be, examining the issues of it and how it’s nothing more than guesswork. It was interesting since I love Criminal Minds and I used to want to do that work. I wanted to be a profiler. I wanted to do that so desperately. What I liked that Gladwell did was examining profiling as if it was a psychic doing their work, along with pointing out all the ways it was that.
The second article he wrote against profiling was to do with pitbulls. I mean, how interesting. He took a topic that wasn’t too interesting and made it so. He talked about the reasons why banning pitbulls are wrong, along with offering a way to change it to make it better. Rather than caring about stable things (i.e. the traits of the owner) to pick out unsafe dogs, we pay attention to unstable things (i.e. dog breed).
And, lastly, the final story I enjoyed was the titular one. What the Dog Saw. It’s basically a piece on Cesar Millan. What I liked was how it tied his work with dogs into his life and how he had to develop as a person, much how the dogs he worked with had to develop into dogs. I grew up watching his TV show because my mom loved it. We even use some of his techniques in our house. However, I didn’t know about his life and it was interesting to see another side of him.
Those were my four favorite stories boiled down into quick summaries. There were quite a few stories, though, and not all of them I liked. It was an average anthology of Gladwell’s articles that I would recommend only to people who really like his work.