A weekly conversation with a non-fiction writer about how they got their start and how they tell stories. Co-produced by Longform and The Atavist.




Episode 324: Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is a New Yorker staff writer, the author The Tipping Point and Blink, and the host of Revisionist History. His new podcast is Broken Record.

“The loveliest thing is to interview someone who’s never been interviewed before. To sort of watch them in a totally novel experience. Particularly when you’re interviewing them about things they never thought were worthy of an interview. That’s a really lovely experience. It’s like watching a kid on a roller coaster for the first time. But a celebrity is a very different kind of experience. The bar for them is quite high. They’ve been interviewed a million times, so you have to be on your game. You have to take them somewhere that’s a little unfamiliar to get them to perk up. Otherwise it’s just another of a long line of interviews. It’s a lot more demanding.”

Thanks to MailChimp, Aspen Ideas To Go, and Pitt Writers for sponsoring this week's episode.

  • @Gladwell
  • Gladwell on Longform
  • [0:30] Gladwell on Episode 62 of the Longform Podcast
  • [0:35] Gladwell on Episode 204 of the Longform Podcast
  • [0:40] Revisionist History
  • [0:45] Broken Record
  • [2:20] David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants (Little, Brown and Company • 2013)
  • [2:30] Panoply
  • [10:45] It's a Long Story: My Life (Willie Nelson • Little, Brown and Company • 2015)
  • [28:00] Gladwell's archive at The New Yorker
  • [28:50] Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Little, Brown and Company • 2005)
  • [30:20] Revisionist History: Analysis, Parapraxis, Elvis
  • [30:45] Behind the Shock Machine: The Untold Story of the Notorious Milgram Psychology Experiments (Gina Perry • The New Press • 2013)
  • [38:20] Revisionist History: Free Brian Williams


 2019-01-02  48m