In "The Prime Minister and the Prof", Gladwell questions the often dangerous influence friends can have over our good judgement. Was Winston Churchill's love for his friend Frederick Lindermann - responsible for bad British decisions during World War II and a terrible famine in Bengal that caused approximately three million lives?
This is Episode 5, the best so far, from Season 2 of Malcolm Gladwell's excellent Podcast Revisionist History. The podcast is amazing in general and season 2 has been great, probably even better than season 1 which I had thoroughly enjoyed.
My feelings about Gladwell's books have been ambivalent. I have read them all and I enjoyed reading them but I didn't necessarily believe in all his suppositions and theories. He often seemed to argue, specially across the books, both sides of a debate. But who cared because his stories and the anecdotes and the people were just so entertaining.
In podcasting, Gladwell seems to have found a passion for this new medium to tell his stories in small, manageable bites. You could here it in his voice. He seems to be loving it. Unburdened with the need to make a larger, overarching point like in a book (except perhaps the central conceit that no one really got this thing but him), his stories are more intimate and given the current sociopolitical climate, more immediate.
My love for Podcasting as a medium continues to grow. In some sense, podcasting seems to be claiming the intellectual high ground from magazines. With new, meaningful content pouring in - and with Gladwell in the mix - seems the amateur hour is definitely over.