Hot Off the Press: Malcolm Gladwell’s David & Goliath

David Slaying Goliath

David Slaying Goliath (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just hot off the press, Malcolm Gladwell has done it again with his latest book David & Goliath – Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants.

In the opening chapter of the book, bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell explores the ancient Biblical story of David and Goliath, and recreates the battle scene on how the teenager managed to defeat the giant. The truth of the matter is that David should not have won, given his size and the weapon of choice. But in Gladwell’s unpacking of the story, you will see the circumstances that led to David’s improbable victory.

Slingers at that time of the Old Testament were very accurate and could hit targets up to two hundred yards with up to a “hair’s breadth” of accuracy. They were one of three types of warriors seen on a battlefield – infantry, Calvary and projectile warriors (slingers belonged to this group), and the battles was very much likened to a scissors, paper, stone choice because each warrior type could defeat the other based on the weaknesses of the other type.

In that sense, the hand chosen by the general or king had a one-in-three chance of victory. Simply put, slingers were deadly against infantry warriors because of their projectiles but were useless against Calvary units which were too fast for slingers to hit them with accuracy. In short, a stationery Goliath was as good as dead, which was the very reason why David could have a flawless victory, and finished the giant by cutting off his head (ala “Mortal Kombat”).

It was an impossible win, but a win is nonetheless a win, and the Israelites routed the Philistine army. To read more about impossible wins and battling the giants of life, buy David & Goliath – Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants here:

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