What are several key ideas from the beginning of Outliers?
These pages constitute the Introduction to the book, and they set the stage for the stories and research to come. In the 1950s, Dr. Stewart Wolf heard of the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania. Here nearly all of the residents were originally from the town of Roseto Valfortore in the Italian province of Foggia. These people had fewer instances of heart disease (and of many other diseases) than people living in any other part of the United States. Wolf wanted to figure out why. He and his team studied their diets, genetic make-ups, and lifestyles. The difference seemed to be that the Rosetans had brought the paesani culture with them from Italy. It generated a much stronger sense of community than that found in other typical American towns. Generations lived together under the same roof. People visited with one another regularly. They belonged to the same church and to a variety of community organizations. Roseto was an example of an outlier: “a place that lay outside everyday experience, where the normal rules did not apply.” This is the concept that is explored in depth in the rest of the book.