So I read the entire book. Which isn’t surprising since I was reading James Michener in middle school and Dostoevsky in junior high school which made me a voracious reader. Here’s what I learned:
- Finally found where Malcolm got that WSIWIG hair from – his mother is Jamaican and his father is British.
- There are a lot of rich Jewish lawyers on Wall Street.
- The politeness of Korean pilots may have caused several airplane crashes.
- The smartest man in the country has never published an academic journal, didn’t win a Nobel Prize and never even graduated from college.
- J. Robert Oppenheimer is worse than I thought and talked his way out of an attempted murder rap.
- Black kids can learn. (oh wait, I already knew that but most public schools don’t).
- The academic achievement gap between black and white students disappears during the school year but reappears after summer vacation. (Glad my mom made me go to a school where I went to school all-year around – only two weeks in August.)
- The best Canadian hockey players are born in January.
- Bill Gates was darn lucky.
- I missed my window to be a tech billionaire because I wasn’t born in the mid-1950s.
You have to read the book to get the reasoning behind all these statements but Malcolm makes some good points. One section really intrigued me, the chapter The Three Lessons of Joe Flom. The chapter is basically about how the two largest and most lucrative law firms in the nation came to be owned, operated and founded by Jewish guys. It’s a fascinating tale of circumstance, hard work, racial profiling, and more than a little luck. I encourage you – read The Outliers it’ll illuminate your life.