Talking to Strangers
What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know
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.
“Talking To Strangers is perfect on audio. It reads (listens) like a podcast including audio clips from interviews, etc.”Jessica, Main Street Books Davidson
“Instead of reading this important book outright, Gladwell uses a podcast-style format to really engage the listener. Thoroughly engaging, interesting, and enlightening, audio is definitely an excellent way to read this book.”Melissa, Watermark Books
“In TALKING TO STRANGERS, Gladwell examines how communication is the key to basically everything. With historical as well as current case studies, this book makes you examine your prejudices and preconceived notions. This is not your typical audiobook. Gladwell uses original clips from news stories, segments from other audio books, and he even has a theme song for this book. This listens like a tightly orchestrated podcast and it is a fabulous way to consume this book. Highly recommend.”Rachel, Avid Bookshop
“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.”Robin, Watermark Books
“I have always considered myself to be a very open-minded person. But Malcolm Gladwell's "Talking to Strangers" is a revelation in the mistakes we humans make in interpreting each other's motives and intentions. The common assumptions that we make in order to navigate daily life often lead us to grossly err in our decisions and judgments concerning others. When we seek to determine whether someone is lying, whether they've committed a crime, or if we can trust a stranger--we use faulty tools. Gladwell helps us to see and understand this phenomenon using stories from recent events such as the trials of Bernie Madoff, Amanda Knox, and the rape case of Brock Turner and Emily Doe. I can't wait to share and discuss this book with my friends and family.”Tracey, Commonplace Reader
“Gladwell's synthesis of famous news clips, infamous moments in history, and a collection of behavioral studies is uncannily fascinating. I found myself at turns nodding along with his points and shaking my head incredulously. While I was reading, I would over-analyze conversations and encounters I had with strangers, and then laugh at myself for being so paranoid. I rose to the enraged defense of the victims of violent crimes he recounted in the book and was horrified to find myself possibly trying to understand with some of the behaviors of the perpetrators. In the end, I'm not sure I agree with everything Gladwell discussed. But then again, I don't think he set out to convince anyone of any particular thing. His goal was to answer what could have happened in the case of Sandra Bland and to peel back the layers to expose human behaviors and assumptions that could have possibly played a role in the incident. This was the first book by Gladwell that I've read and I look forward to exploring more of his work. This audiobook was particularly interesting. Gladwell narrated but integrated interview clips, news sound bites, and actor reenactments throughout the audio. At first jarring and a little worrisome, because I thought I wasn't going to understand the clips due to audio quality, it was an addition that I found myself enjoying and really added depth to the book's thematic goals. I definitely recommend this book! Especially the audiobook version.”Rebekah, Gottwals Books
“If you're thinking about giving audiobooks a try, I highly recommend starting off your audiobook experience with Malcolm Gladwell's Talking to Strangers. I just finished this last night and love the work Gladwell put into the production of it, and of course Gladwell delivers, as always, an in-depth analysis of a topic that will flip your worldview.”Robert, Off the Beaten Path Bookstore
“This is an audio experience. Malcolm Gladwell talks about it a bit in the beginning. He chose to use audio recordings of interviews, etc., wherever available instead of just reading the quotes himself. There’s music spattered throughout. It’s kind of a book/podcast. It is not just a direct reading of the text. Also, Malcolm Gladwell has a soothing voice but covers some unsettling topics, so you can definitely listen to this one and not fall asleep. I won’t say I enjoyed this book, because how can you enjoy something that talks about all the unpleasant side effects of misinterpreting interactions with strangers? But it was incredibly interesting. We hear about what went wrong with Amanda Knox, the Brock Turner trial, and Sandra Bland, amidst many other examples. I love books like this that examine psychology through real life things. I definitely feel like I learned something from Talking to Strangers, and for me, that’s really the best way to judge a nonfiction title.”Anna, Katy Budget 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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