The New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in our society so often happen suddenly & unexpectedly. Ideas, behavior, messages, & products, he argues, often spread like outbreaks of infectious disease. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters & graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, & the moment they take off, they reach their critical mass, or, the Tipping Point. Gladwell introduces us to the particular personality types who are natural pollinators of new ideas & trends, the people who create the phenomenon of word of mouth, & he analyzes fashion trends, smoking, children's television, direct mail, & the early days of the American Revolution for clues about making ideas infectious. He also visits a religious commune, a successful high-tech company, & one of the world's greatest salesmen to show how to start & sustain social epidemics.