Malcolm Gladwell: Talking to Strangers

Author and podcast host Malcolm Gladwell will join Guardian columnist Oliver Burkeman to talk about his latest book, Talking to Strangers.


Tuesday 4th August, 2020 @ 6:30 pm

  • In Conversation
  • Online event
  • Questions & Answers


About the Event

Author and podcast host Malcolm Gladwell will join us to talk about his latest book, Talking to Strangers.

The star New Yorker writer has established himself as an inventive thinker with a talent for casting a unique intellectual lens onto the ordinary. In Talking to Strangers, he examines the ways in which strangers interact with one another, the ripple effects these interactions can have - not only on the individual, but on the whole of society. Why did Sandra Bland’s traffic stop end in suicide? How did a spy spend years undetected at the Pentagon? Why do we find it so difficult to detect a lie, or identify moral corruption in a stranger?

Cited by Oprah Winfrey as a book that will change how we see strangers, ourselves, and the wider world, Talking to Strangers challenges our predisposition to making assumptions about those we don’t know, and examines how these judgments can have devastating consequences. Gladwell has been a writer for the New Yorker since 1996 and is the author of five New York Times bestsellers, including Outliers and The Tipping Point. In 2005 was named as one of TIME’s 100 most influential people.

He will be talking to Guardian columnist Oliver Burkeman, and you will have the opportunity to put your own questions to him in real-time.

Running time: 60 minutes

Ticket buyers will receive an exclusive discount code to purchase a copy of Talking to Strangers from the Guardian Bookshop. Please note that books can only be shipped to addresses within the UK.

About the Book

Talking to Strangers
Talking to Strangers

Malcolm Gladwell

Publisher:Penguin Books Ltd

Publication date:10 Sep 2019


3.33 out of 5
10 reviews
"Malcolm Gladwell cites many examples of judges wrongly assessing the character of the accused. But he never mentions how often they get it right"
"Gladwell’s typically digressive exploration of the assumptions we make when dealing with strangers is compelling"
The Observer
"For a book that asks us to be more empathetic, Talking to Strangers is unexpectedly cold."
Times Literary Supplement
"This is a dazzling book. Stories are well selected and brilliantly told, ideas are slowly revealed until the reader arrives at a conclusion they didn’t expect."
The Times
"enjoyable to read, yet also oddly unsatisfying"
Financial Times
"In “Talking to Strangers,” he uses theory like a cudgel on sensitive material"
The New York Times
"It’s hard to think of more compelling material, and the book has an intriguing premise."
Literary Review
"Malcolm Gladwell, whose job it is to be puzzled by banalities and then replace them, after a great pseudo-intellectual circumambulation, with banalities"
The Guardian
"Talking to Strangers turns out to be both more controversial and more disagreeable than anything he has written so far"
The Daily Telegraph
"Malcolm Gladwell at his best"
Irish Times