It may be a seemingly inconsequential opinion, a preference for summer birthdays like my own over a too-close-to-Christmas winter birth, but Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers convinced both me and my similarly summer-born husband that we would be doing our future children a favor if we aim for February.
Outliers is a sociology-meets-economics text in the vein of Freakonomics that takes an in-depth journey through some of the factors that contribute to success. Gladwell argues that it is circumstances surrounding the successful (ranging from birth month to culture and generation) that lead to success far more than the traditionally valued intelligence and “natural talent”. An early chapter points out a direct link between athletic stardom and birth month: a result of athletic league cutoff dates, rate of physical maturation, and the process for identifying and nurturing athletic talent. Other chapters deal with formality in communication, social class versus intelligence level, linguistic happenstance, and meaningful work as contributors (or hindrances) to success.
The book is a fun and interesting read, cleverly laid out to keep even the most casual reader engaged to the last page. I would recommend it to any human being.
It’s winter babies all the way!