How well do you believe or not believe that the story of Roseto establishes Gladwell's purpose about successful people in the book Outliers?

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chsmith1957 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

“The Roseto Mystery” is discussed in the introduction of Outliers. Malcolm Gladwell tells the story of the residents of Roseto, a town in eastern Pennsylvania. People who lived here had fewer instances of heart disease (and many other diseases) than people who lived elsewhere throughout the United States. A team of college researchers studied the people of Roseto—their lifestyles, diets, and genetic make-ups—in order to learn their secret(s) for good health. The findings indicated the Rosetans had brought the paesani culture with them when they immigrated to this region from Roseto Valfortore, Italy. They had a much stronger sense of community than most American neighborhoods. People visited with one another, belonged to the same churches and organizations, and cared more about each other. Gladwell claims Roseto is an example of an outlier: “a place that lay outside everyday experience, where the normal rules did not apply.” The health of these individuals not only relied on their own personal and physical attributes, but also on outside factors they couldn’t control. This story successfully sets the stage for the rest of the book. Yes, you can believe and understand Gladwell’s premise, based upon this opening chapter.