We gave it an A
Like the ”speed dater” who gives potential boyfriends six minutes to impress her (”They lost me at hello”) and the shrink who analyzes bickering couples (he can usually tell who’s heading for divorce within three minutes), I knew from the first few pages of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink exactly what I thought: I’m gonna be up all night reading this.
And, as Gladwell puts it in his smart, breezy celebration of intuition, ”decisions made very quickly can be every bit as good as decisions made cautiously and deliberately.” In fact, they can be much, much better. Gladwell has rounded up scores of arresting anecdotes to support and advance his thought-provoking theories in this sinuous, fascinating narrative. Billionaire investor George Soros can’t always explain why he chooses to buy and sell, he just gets a backache when it’s time to change his position in the market. The director of the Benaki Museum in Athens knew at first glance that a celebrated sculpture was a fake because he experienced a moment of ”intuitive revulsion.” Why? How?
Gladwell (veteran New Yorker writer and author of 2000’s The Tipping Point) explores those questions and also rightly considers the limitations of snap judgments, which can easily make fools of us. As he points out, Americans saw the strapping, handsome Warren G. Harding, couldn’t get over his good looks, and proceeded to elect one of the worst presidents in U.S. history. You can’t judge a book by its cover. But Gladwell had me at hello — and kept me hooked to the final page.