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Welcome to Gloversville

By John | January 23, 2008

I became a huge Malcolm Gladwell fan after I finished the first page of the Tipping Point. I have read Blink, and I usually listen to my audio copy over and over again on long trips. Now, with the advent of pod-casting, I have become a junkie for anything Gladwell. In fact, I would pay good money to hear him recite the Yellow Pages.

Recently, I used one of my credits to download a pod cast of Malcolm Gladwell with Robert Krulwich at the 92nd Street Y. As always, he was brilliant. In this clip, however, he talked about a town up near Albany, NY, called Gloversville. At the beginning of the 20th century, Gloversville was the epicenter of, you guessed it, “gloves.” As Gladwell describes, if you were to visit Gloversville in the early 20th century, you probably would have found the place quite boring, but, if you really cared about gloves, this was the place to be. Here is a quote from one of Gladwell”s writings about Gloversville:

It’s hard to imagine anyone caring so deeply about gloves, and had we visited Gloversville in its prime most of us would have found it a narrow and provincial place. But if you truly know gloves and think about them and dream about them and, more important, if you are surrounded every day by a community of people who know and think and dream about gloves, a glove becomes more than a glove.

Does this sound familiar?

Topics: barcampesm, esm, malcolm gladwell, other, sillystory | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Welcome to Gloversville”

  1. Shawn Bulger Says:
    January 23rd, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    I was born and raised in Gloversville, so I kinda object to the “provincial” comment.

    I turned out quite sophisticated.

  2. John Says:
    January 23rd, 2008 at 4:10 pm


    My intent was not to offend anyone. Actually it was Gladwell that described Gloversville as provincial. In his defense he was talking about Gloversville at the turn of the 20th century. I have been in that area many times and IMHO there is nothing provincial about it. One last point, I would like to think you are quite sophisticated (i.e., because you took the time to read my blog) :)