Off the top in our discussion of Outliers, it’s worth noting that the book’s author, Malcolm Gladwell, is a gifted storyteller. His ability to transform a large body of facts and information into coherent and compelling narratives helps to explain why his books are considered so accessible, captivating. There’s something alluring about a good story, you know?
To be sure, Gladwell opens his book with a narrative about this small, fascinating town Roseto, Pennsylvania, where residents seemed to have an unusual predisposition for health. During the 1950s, hardly anyone under age sixty-five had heart disease in Roseto, even though heart attacks “were an epidemic in the United States” and “the leading cause of death in men under the age of sixty-five.”
According to Gladwell, the citizens of Roseto had “created a powerful, protective social structure capable of insulating them from the pressures of the modern world. The Rosetans were healthy because of where they were from, because of the world they had created for themselves in their tiny little town in the hills.”
Given our interests in establishing community, we’re curious about your thoughts. In particular, what stood out to you as the Rosetans’ most fascinating habits or ways of life, and why did those habits or ways of life really stand out to you?
Or, what new approach—-based on the old ways of Roseto-—might we take in order to establish our own extraordinarily healthy academic community?