Malcolm Gladwell is the author of The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference. An archive of his articles for The New Yorker is available at www.gladwell.com. (February 2000)

True Grit

When Mike Shanahan was a junior playing quarterback for Eastern Illinois University—many years before he became one of the most successful professional football coaches of the 1990s—he threw the ball to a running back and, in that moment of vulnerability, was speared by an opposing linebacker. The hit left him …

Just Say ‘Wait a Minute’

On a hot, muggy night in the summer of 1976, Ron and Marsha “Keith” Schuchard held a thirteenth-birthday party for their daughter in the backyard of their suburban Atlanta home. The Schuchards were English professors, comfortably middle class, and they worried about their daughter. Her personality had suddenly taken a …