The Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator, a website which launched yesterday, is catching on faster than those trendy shoes from The Tipping Point. The site allows readers to refresh and see a new, pastel-on-white cover of a book on scientific ideas. Each could fit easily alongside Gladwell’s back catalog, but for an absurdist twist. One cover, serving as an operating thesis for Gladwell’s entire career, reads: Power: How Power Powerfully Powers Power.
Cory Bortnicker, a writer for the financial site Minyanville and co-creator of the Book Generator, said the idea came up a few months ago, but only took “three days” to actually put together. “I’ve read most of them,” he said of Gladwell’s books, “and I’m actually a big fan of his work. I think he’s a fun writer. I think it’s great anytime someone can bring science to a large audience like that.”
The science Gladwell writes about may be a bit dilettantish (hence, The Cheers Effect: How and Why Everybody Knows Your Name) or goofily packaged (Subtitles: How Secondary Titles Inflate a Sense of Importance). But Bortnicker thinks Gladwell himself–even despite the latest fracas over his offbeat claims about Twitter and Egypt–is not the object of the joke, just a penumbra floating around it. “The joke is kind of on all of us, probably Malcolm Gladwell least of all. People buy his books, publishers sell his books, designers design his books.” Gladwell just hatches the ideas. Is it too much to hope for, though, that he might someday really write the definitive Nickelodeon study Clarissa: How One Woman Explained It All?
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