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Outliers and Catch 22

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Outliers and catch 22 are two interesting and popular books of all times. Outliers inspire success. Gladwell presents many successful people with common names and those not so well known, who reached the highest levels in their profession. Not taking anything away of the effort each put in to earn their places in history, Gladwell suggests their success had more do to opportunities outside their control than own only their skills, grit, and determination, those each are contributing factors.

Catch 22 is about a man who thinks everyone wants to kill him, therefore he becomes wise and brave enough to suppress himself from the situation. Catch22 is defined as a situation in which a desired outcome or solution is impossible to attain because of a set of inherently illogical rules or conditions. They are rules or conditions that create such a situation, characterized by absurdity .It is a tricky situation where one finds him or herself difficult to avoid.


This is a story that is usually told about extremely successful people. It is a story that focuses on intelligence and ambition. Gladwell argues that the true story of success is very difficult and that if you want to understand how some people thrive, they should spend more time looking around them at such things as their family, their birth place and even their birth date, and in revealing logic. Gladwell presents a fascinating and provocative for making the most f human potential. In the tipping point Gladwell changed the way we understand the world. In the blink, he changed the way we think about thinking. In outliers, he transforms the way we understand success (Gladwell, 2008).

Catch 22

Catch 22 follows captain john yossarian in his exploits as a bombardier, that is, a member of a fighter plane crew that is in charge of aiming and releasing bombs in the US air force during the Second World War. The captain has one wish to survive the madness of wartime culture. He is convinced that everyone is trying to kill him, a notion that sometimes arises in a war where everyone is trying to kill one another. Yossarian has to survive the dangerous combat mission. He flies while colonel cathcart continues to increase the number of missions his men must complete.

The novel does not flow in a chronological order but instead includes frequent flashbacks. The first part concentrates on the narrative present. The second part is on the scene of the Great Siege of Bologna. The third part returns to the present. The fourth part centers on the actions of Milo. Finally the book tells of Yossarian’s escape from the military. Many of yossarian’s actions are in response to the death of a fellow soldier, or as a tactic to avoid flying dangerous missions. The air force administration’s actions, on the contrary are based on improving the ranks of the individual officers on making America look good on the war (Shmoop University Inc, 2010, p.2).

The Favorite Book

Outliers is an interesting book because it inspires success among people. Gladwell begins by suggesting that all things being equal, it is date of birth that determines greatness in Canadian hockey players rather than skill. Gladwell demonstrates the same is true for the great wealth builders of the 19th century, the most successful New York City attorneys of the 20th century, and the kings/queens of Silicon Valley. This is the book that got many talking about the 10,000-hour rule.

The rule says that it takes at least 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill. Gladwell uses several examples of great success who were able to gain the 10,000 early enough through serendipitous opportunities that they are now legendary masters of their fields. Among his examples are The Beetles. When they were just getting started, through luck they played eight hours a day, seven days a week, for upwards of 90 days in Hamburg, Germany to put in their 10,000 hours. This prepared them when America was ready for the British invasion. He suggests that they were no better or worse than any other band from Liverpool but when their preparedness met the opportunities they were ready for their lucky break.


Even if outliers is my favorite book, catch 22 is one of the most interesting books. Fifty years after its original publication, Catch-22remains a cornerstone of American literature and one of the funniest and most celebrated books of all time. In recent years it has been named to best novels lists by Time, Newsweek, the Modern Library, and the London Observer.

Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy, it is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he’s assigned, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.


  • Gladwell, M. (2008). Outliers: The story of success. New York: Little, Brown and Co.
  • Shmoop University Inc. (2010). Catch-22, by Joseph Heller. Sunnyvale, Calif.: Shmoop University.
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