In this book, Gladwell takes a close look at the people we deem to be most successful - athletes, musicians, businessman and the like. Rather than looking just at the individual and what they are like, Gladwell examines how they got where they are today and who helped them either personally or through circumstances that were set forth.
He also looks at how our culture, families, our generation as well as idiosyncratic experiences in upbringing create a person who will be successful - or not. This is a book chock full of information from everything from Canadian Hockey players to why Asians are better at math, to why airline crashes occurred for some airlines more than others.
This book could have turned out extremely dry and boring but Gladwell does a good job writing in an engaging manner so that the information he presents is interesting enough that you want to keep reading. I would definitely consider reading other books by Gladwell. The two I have heard of are: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking which is all about how we make decisions, and The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference which is about the point in which an idea, style, social trend etc. begins to spread like wildfire or, to coin a phrase "becomes viral".