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Talking to Strangers
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Talking to Strangers

What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know

By Malcolm Gladwell
Narrated by Malcolm Gladwell / 8 hours 42 minutes

Malcolm Gladwell, host of the podcast Revisionist History and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Outliers, reinvents the audiobook in this immersive production of Talking to Strangers, a powerful examination of our interactions with people we don't know.

Bookseller Recommendation

Talking to Strangers

“Fascinating! How and why we so frequently misinterpret the words, intentions, and sincerity of strangers. Computers, analyzing only information, are far better at judging someone’s guilt or innocence (and future behavior) than judges, psychologists, and witnesses. Based on our preconceptions of how people should behave in certain situations, the guilty often appear innocent and the innocent look like cold-hearted liars. They’re mismatched. Their outer reactions, facial expressions, and behavior don’t match our socially biased expectations. But wait, how do culture, alcohol, or surroundings further muck up our interactions? That’s just the tip of this Gladwellian iceberg.”

Watermark Books image Robin, Watermark Books

How did Fidel Castro fool the CIA for a generation? Why did Neville Chamberlain think he could trust Adolf Hitler? Why are campus sexual assaults on the rise? Do television sitcoms teach us something about the way we relate to each other that isn't true?

While tackling these questions, Malcolm Gladwell was not solely writing a book for the page. He was also producing for the ear. In the audiobook version of Talking to Strangers, you'll hear the voices of people he interviewed--scientists, criminologists, military psychologists. Court transcripts are brought to life with re-enactments. You actually hear the contentious arrest of Sandra Bland by the side of the road in Texas. As Gladwell revisits the deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, and the suicide of Sylvia Plath, you hear directly from many of the players in these real-life tragedies. There's even a theme song - Janelle Monae's "Hell You Talmbout."

Something is very wrong, Gladwell argues, with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don't know. And because we don't know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world.

The audiobook edition of Talking to Strangers was an instant #1 bestseller, and was one of the most pre-ordered audiobooks in history. It seamlessly marries audiobooks and podcasts, creating a completely new and real listening experience.

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About the Author

Malcolm Gladwell is the author of five New York Times bestsellers–The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, and David and Goliath. He is also the co-founder of Pushkin Industries, an audio content company that produces the podcasts Revisionist History, which reconsiders things both overlooked and misunderstood, and Broken Record, where he, Rick Rubin, and Bruce Headlam interview musicians across a wide range of genres. Gladwell has been included in the TIME 100 Most Influential People list and touted as one of Foreign Policy‘s Top Global Thinkers.


Reviews

Talking to Strangers is a must-read...I love this book... Reading it will actually change not just how you see strangers, but how you look at yourself, the news--the world...Reading this book changed me.”

Oprah Winfrey, O, The Oprah Magazine

“Gladwell has again delivered a compelling, conversation-starting read...At a time when the world feels intractably polarized, a book examining the varying ways we misinterpret or fail to communicate with one another could not feel more necessary...With a mix of reporting, research and a deft narrative hand, Gladwell illuminates these examples with the page-turning urgency of a paperback thriller.”

Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times

“Mr. Gladwell's towering success rests on the moment when the skeptic starts to think that maybe we're wrong about everything and maybe, just maybe, this Gladwell guy is onto something...Talking to Strangers is weightier than his previous titles.”

Amy Chozick, New York Times

The right way to talk to strangers is with caution and humility. The closest we have to Holy Fools in modern life are whistleblowers. They are willing to sacrifice loyalty to their institution—and, in many cases, the support of their peers—in the service of exposing fraud and deceit. Today we are now thrown into contact all the time with people whose assumptions, perspectives, and backgrounds are different from our own. The modern world is not two brothers feuding for control of the Ottoman Empire. It is Cortés and Montezuma struggling to understand each other through multiple layers of translators. Talking to Strangers is about why we are so bad at that act of translation.

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