I am glad to see that M. Gladwell in his last book takes as example a village located in Apulia, the Italian region when I am from, to demonstrate how the lifestyle can influence the life expectation of a community.
Below a description of isolated village in the Apulian countryside from the first chapter.
Roseto Valfortore lies one hundred miles southeast of Rome, in the Apennine foothills of the Italian province of Foggia. In the style of medieval villages, the town is organized around a large central square. Facing the square is the Palazzo Marchesale, the palace of the Saggese family, once the great landowner of those parts. An archway to one side leads to a church, the Madonna del Carmine — Our Lady of Mount Carmine.
Below a description of the lifestyle of Roseto’s Paesani before that most of them emigrated to America.
For centuries, the paesani of Roseto worked in the marble quarries in the surrounding hills, or cultivated the fields in the terraced valley below, walking four and five miles down the mountain in the morning and then making the long journey back up the hill at night. It was a hard life. The townsfolk were barely literate and desperately poor and without much hope for economic betterment — until word reached Roseto at the end of the nineteenth century of the land of opportunity across the ocean.
Here the analysis given by Gladwell to show that how people we sorround ourself have a profound affect on who we are even influencing our life expectection.
You had to look beyond the individual. You had to understand what culture they were a part of, and who their friends and families were, and what town in Italy their family came from. You had to appreciate the idea that community — the values of the world we inhabit and the people we surround ourselves with — has a profound effect on who we are. The value of an outlier was that it forced you to look a little harder and dig little deeper than you normally would to make sense of the world. And if you did, you could learn something from the outlier than could use to help everyone else.
Here the excerpt from the First Chapter of Outliers – M .Gladwell