Malcolm’s “secret weapon,” episode II

A few years ago, I wrote a story about Malcolm’s “secret weapon.” You can read it here. (A quick reminder: Malcolm Gladwell is a staff writer with The New Yorker and a best-selling author based in New York City.)

In the above story, I suggested that Malcolm’s secret is that he thinks and writes like an authentic copywriter. This means that while he doesn’t overlook the mind, he understands that the heart is the bullseye: “Malcolm also understands that the icing is not the cake, and the icing does not make the cake. Said differently, his writing is just the icing. The cake: true, interesting stories. And when the two come together, he’s got a beautiful package that’s hard to ignore.”

That’s what I said. And here’s what Malcolm said about what he does in a recent interview with the British Esquire: “Remember,” he goes on, “in most cases, I’m writing about pre-existing ideas. There’s often an intellectual movement, so I’m maybe pouring some accelerant on it, but I’m rarely inventing a cause. I’m a publicist for a lot of this stuff and a packager. That’s not humble; it’s fact. I’d be lying if I told you otherwise.” (For the full interview, see ‘Malcolm Gladwell explains himself.’)

I chuckled when I saw that he used the word ‘packager’ to qualify what he does. Please don’t forget, as Malcolm is fond of saying, this story is not an attempt to persuade you to do anything. It’s just a glimpse into my head. :)

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