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Malcolm Gladwell Has Some Explaining To Do

The blurb for Malcolm Gladwell's book "The Outliers" depicts the battle between David and Goliath as happening in "Ancient Palestine."
The blurb for Malcolm Gladwell’s book “David and Goliath” depicts the battle between David and Goliath as happening in “Ancient Palestine.”

The blurb for Malcolm Gladwell’s book David and Goliath, published by Back Bay Books, spotted on a Barnes and Noble shelf in the United States, reads:

Three thousand years ago on a battlefield in Ancient Palestine, a shepherd boy felled a mighty warrior with nothing more than a stone and a sling, and ever since then, the names David and Goliath have stood for battles between underdogs and giants. David’s victory was improbable and miraculous. He shouldn’t have won. Or should he have?

You know what’s really improbable about that victory? According to that blurb it happened in a place with a name that wasn’t invented until 1000 years afterwards!

It’s pretty incredible how the publisher and their editors can conveniently ignore history like that.

Palestine was the name the Romans dreamed up 1000 years after the David and Goliath fight so they could literally wipe the Jewish state off the map after it gave them such a tough time by revolting.

I don’t believe someone as educated as Gladwell didn’t know that David was a king of Judea (a.k.a. The Jews!) and Palestine wasn’t invented until the Romans conquered Israel in the first century B.C., long after the legend of King David was said to occur.

But then, Israellycool’s Brian realised he had the Israeli version to hand. Guess what. It correctly places the David and Goliath battle in Israel:

Three thousand years ago, on a battlefield in the ancient country of Israel, a shepherd boy felled a mighty warrior with nothing more than a stone and a sling, and ever since then, the names David and Goliath have stood for battles between underdogs and giants.

Looks like Malcolm Gladwell should have a word with his publisher in the US.

Israel and Palestine highlighted David and Goliath
If you can read a bit of Hebrew, the first lines only differ with the substitution of “Palestine” for Israel.

Front Cover David and Goliath Hebrew edition
Front Cover David and Goliath Hebrew edition
Back Cover David and Goliath Hebrew edition
Back Cover David and Goliath Hebrew edition

About the author

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Lex

Lex is a trained comedy actor who is Montreal's second-favourite export aside from poutine.
Picture of Lex

Lex

Lex is a trained comedy actor who is Montreal's second-favourite export aside from poutine.
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