National Review / Digital
Failing Upward
The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success, by Megan McArdle (Viking, 320 pp., $27.95)


This may not have been the best time for Bloomberg View columnist Megan McArdle to write a book squarely in the tradition of Malcolm Gladwell.

For whatever reason, Gladwell’s mesmerizing essays, in which he weaves together stories and social-science research to arrive at (allegedly) mind-blowing conclusions, hit a “tipping point” of their own in late 2013. What had started as the occasional drip of acid from a critic became a flood of derision. Slate and The New Republic ran lengthy pieces bashing Gladwell. Salon’s Alex Pareene included the writer in his annual year-end list of journalistic “hacks.”

February 24, 2014    |     Volume LXVI, No. 3

  • The Republican party is newly awash with ideas.
  • The EU discovers that it needs affordable energy.
  • Preschool advocates’ claims of success are based on faulty methodology.
  • Our financial regulations tend toward lesser clarity and greater expense.
  • An immigrant’s travails at the DMV.
Books, Arts & Manners
  • Lee Edwards reviews Living on Fire: The Life of L. Brent Bozell, by Daniel Kelly.
  • Bing West reviews Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, by Robert M. Gates.
  • Robert VerBruggen reviews The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success, by Megan McArdle.
  • Ross Douthat reviews the two most striking Oscar snubs—Inside Llewyn Davis and All Is Lost.
  • Richard Brookhiser discusses horse racing.
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Happy Warrior  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .