Malcolm Gladwell: Out of Whack

By Mad Dog
Published: Aug 10, 2009

I’ve often thought that Malcolm Gladwell is too slick to be true, but I was agog when The New Yorker published his piece on “To Kill A Mockingbird”. The flaw was massive: He used 21st Century values to sneer at a novel that was published in 1960 and set in the South of the 1930s. Many of you wrote me, all angry with Gladwell. The most moving note, from Gretchen Morgan: “Coming of age in the 60s in Texas where ‘colored’ bathrooms still existed, it was hard to ‘do the right thing’ around race relations. Being white, I was called in to the Dean’s office in high school for walking around the halls with a black guy: Don Baylor, who ended up being a professional ball player and then a coach. If I had been righteously angry, it could have hurt Don’s future. Instead, I 
broke down in tears in the dean’s office and then cried with Don later. We still interacted, just not quite as openly.
 Should I have been more open about it? No. Did I feel guilty about it? Yes!”