Malcolm Gladwell’s Talking to Strangers: On Preventing Financial Fraud…and Worse

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“There’s always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible and wrong.”–H. L. Mencken, in “The Divine Afflatus,” New York Evening Mail (November 16, 1917)

Talking to Strangers is not about talking to strangers. It is a manual on how to avoid being victimized or bamboozled by evil, slippery, or amoral people. Well–written (Gladwell is always entertaining) and opinionated, it is an annotated compendium of case studies on how some of the world’s worst people got others — strangers — to believe their lies and get sucked into situations that range from profoundly tragic to merely unfortunate.

If you don’t talk to strangers because you’re afraid you’ll become a victim, you’ll never learn anything. Everyone except your mother was a stranger at some point in your life, and you only can learn by listening.

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