...Until the eighteenth century, it must be remembered, many Westerners drank beer almost continuously, even beginning their day with something called 'beer soup.'…Now they began each day with a strong cup of coffee. One way to explain the industrial revolution is as the inevitable consequence of a world where people suddenly preferred being jittery to being drunk. In the modern world, there was no other way to keep up....
Canadian journalist and essayist. Born in England and raised in Canada, Gladwell graduated from the University of Toronto in 1984 and soon began his career as a journalist, writing for various publications including the Washington Post. Since joining the staff of the New Yorker in 1996, he has contributed articles on an astonishingly broad array of topics, from the "science of shopping" to highway safety to the SAT to mammography. His books, all international best sellers, include The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000), Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking (2005), Outliers: The Story of Success (2008), and most recently, What the Dog Saw (2009), a collection of Gladwell's articles in the New Yorker. See also gladwell.com.