The Outliers Essay

6042 WordsMay 12, 201325 Pages
* Introduction: The Roseto Mystery In Outliers, I want to do for our understanding of success what Stewart Wolf did for our understanding of health. In his introduction, Gladwell presents us with both the intention of his book and a colorful description of a neighborhood in Pennsylvania that flourished in the early 20th century. Made up entirely of immigrants from Roseto Valfortore in the Appennine foothills of the Italian province of Foggia, the subsequent Pennsylvania community of Roseto was its own “tiny self-sufficient world.” That a group of immigrants created a haven for themselves in the US is not particularly anomalous in of itself. What was interesting about the community, as discovered by a physician named Stewart Wolf in the 1950s, was the incredibly low rate of heart disease as compared to the rest of the country. Wolf partnered with sociologist John Bruhn to investigate the cause of the abnormally low rate of heart disease and was astonished to find that it “wasn’t diet or exercise or genes or location” that accounted for the discrepancy, but “Roseto itself.” Wolf concludes that Rosetans in 1950s Pennsylvania were particularly healthy because of the egalitarian ethos of the community transplanted from Roseto in Italy. Gladwell writes that the researchers had to “convince the medical establishment to think about health and heart attacks in an entirely new way … They had to understand the culture he or she was a part of … and appreciate the idea that the values of the world we inhabit and the people we surround ourselves with have a profound effect on who we are” and states that, in this book, he intends to do the same for our understanding of success. Part One: Opportunity Chapter 1: The Matthew Effect What is the questions we always ask about the successful? We want to know what they’re like -- what kind of personalities they have, or how

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