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!!> BOOKS ✵ The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century ✫ Author Thomas L. Friedman –

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first CenturyA Timely And Essential Update On Globalization, Its Successes And Discontents, Powerfully Illuminated By One Of Our Most Respected Journalists.When Scholars Write The History Of The World Twenty Years From Now, And They Come To The Chapter Y2K To March 2004, What Will They Say Was The Most Crucial Development The Attacks On The World Trade Center On 9 11 And The Iraq War Or The Convergence Of Technology And Events That Allowed India, China, And So Many Other Countries To Become Part Of The Global Supply Chain For Services And Manufacturing, Creating An Explosion Of Wealth In The Middle Classes Of The World S Two Biggest Nations, Giving Them A Huge New Stake In The Success Of Globalization And With This Flattening Of The Globe, Which Requires Us To Run Faster In Order To Stay In Place, Has The World Gotten Too Small And Too Fast For Human Beings And Their Political Systems To Adjust In A Stable Manner In This Brilliant New Book, The Award Winning New York Times Columnist Thomas Friedman Demystifies The Brave New World For Readers, Allowing Them To Make Sense Of The Often Bewildering Global Scene Unfolding Before Their Eyes With His Inimitable Ability To Translate Complex Foreign Policy And Economic Issues, Friedman Explains How The Flattening Of The World Happened At The Dawn Of The Twenty First Century What It Means To Countries, Companies, Communities, And Individuals And How Governments And Societies Can, And Must, Adapt The World Is Flat Is The Timely And Essential Update On Globalization, Its Successes And Discontents, Powerfully Illuminated By One Of Our Most Respected Journalists An Expanded And Revised Version Was Published In Hardcover In April 2006.

!!> BOOKS ✵ The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century ✫ Author Thomas L. Friedman –
  • Hardcover
  • 616 pages
  • The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century
  • Thomas L. Friedman
  • English
  • 15 October 2019
  • 9780374292799

    10 thoughts on “!!> BOOKS ✵ The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century ✫ Author Thomas L. Friedman –

  1. says:

    I tried to plow through this book, but Thomas Friedman is the most brain dead parrot of the ruling class I have ever known, so I couldn t finish it.His view of globalization is that now, thanks to the paternalistic global order constructed by US multinational corporations, there is cultural and monetary things of worth out there in the vast unexplored jungles of savagery called not the United States As an ahistorical text that ignores the fact that elites have been trading from Occident to and from Orient for hundreds of years, the book ignores entirely the poor.How wonderful it is to be ruling class in this new era, where poor people from all over the world can service the rich like Friedman What an asshole.

  2. says:

    An oldie but a goodie this non fiction book was popular a few years ago 2005 I read it then and took notes By flat he means super interconnected through technology, communications, trade, etc Some notes Ten forces that flattened the world Removal of the Berlin Wall, 1989The world wide web starting with NetscapeWork flow softwareThe ability to upload local goes global Outsourcing you can run a million dollar business without a single employeeOffshoring tech guys overseas Supply chaining aka just in time delivery so you don t have to have money tied up in warehousing In sourcing UPS buys its own fleet of planesIn forming Yahoo and Google search enginesWe ve gone digital, mobile, personal and virtual The Triple Convergence that brought about the flat world First, interconnecting of machines and techniques that had been around earlier leading to the fax, scanner and Xerox Of course invention is always like that multiple people were working on the telephone with so many pieces lying around Second, the gradually increasing impact of computers for years they did not actually reduce staff.Third, the gradual bringing of everyone worldwide into the game.Countries that want to benefit from flatness have to get three things right Technological infrastructure to interact with the rest of the flat worldEducation and trainingLegal structure, taxation, intellectual property rights, etc A good book and very readable A bit long almost 600 pages photo from wallpaper

  3. says:

    The World is Not Flat Precis A big project was started in the post war world to let countries grow and prosper and compete without using wars to do so That was the project of globalization A sub or lead project under that was the European Union Friedman s famous book was the recent victory cry for the Globalization Project, a chest thumping if ever there was one However, any keen observer would by now have concluded that the project was riddled with flaws But that is not to say that the vision itself was flawed It might be a better argument to say that the flaws are from the project being not fully carried through than from the fact of its existence, as Stieglitz had argued eloquently in his critiques.In the video lecture below I use the crisis in the Eurozone to draw out some of the fundamental reasons why globalization has been winding along roads that lead nowhere, for quite some time The concentrated nature of the Eurozone crisis and the fact that it is a rich country problem, with all the proportional additional limelight allows us to see in that microcosm what half baked globalization has done to the haves and have nots among the nations of the world And by examining that, it is hoped that we might also see that the solutions to globalization is perhaps not less but of the dosage, undiluted.So, here, with a bit of shameless self promotion, is the video Please help me improve by sharing feedback Caveat The rest of this review wont make much sense without first watching the video Detail A single global market and complete economic integration would mean that the countries would be too tied in with each other to ever even consider further internecine warfare Surely no one would be daft enough to compromise their own interest so badly Solving the problems of a war ridden world by uniting it through trade That was right up the alley suggested by Adam Smith in his civilizing process Maybe trade and interdependence will get the world to behave That was the hope of the globalizing project that replaced mercantilist philosophy that preceded it And if any part of the world had to race to be civilized, it had to be Europe whom Gandhi had burn ed famously with his quip Hence the European Project was to be the front runner, the trail blazer, the avant garde, etc.The video above is a lecture discussion, wherein I argue that this European project was conceived as a roadmap to a fully integrated union that will replicate a US of A in Europe and how the EU compromised on the tougher but necessary requirements of such a project and tried to get by with stop gap solutions like convergence criteria and the like, which, in its turn, were not enforced All this has led to a scenario which could derail not only the micro experiment EU , but the macro experiment Globalization as well.The European consolidation project rushed into first economic and then a monetary union while never slowing down to implement any integrated Fiscal controls transfers This is also the case with much of the thrust of the globalization project with its emphasis on open trade and liberalizing capital flows across borders.It was understood from the beginning that this was going to be an issue, but it was hoped that it could be worked around Imposing any sort of fiscal control was too anathema to be considered It could easily be argued that any move in that direction would nip the project in the bud, with the nationalistic European Governments running away from any suggestion that dilutes sovereignty as much.An Overdose of Fiscal DisciplineThis meant that a lot of fiscal discipline was attempted, not by direct control but indirectly in the form of membership criteria The focus on such fiscal rules had been justified by two beliefs 1 That, inside a single currency union with a common exchange rate, monetary policy, interlinked interest rates and market integrated enough to cause contagion concerns, the fiscally irresponsible were less likely to be castigated by markets that might otherwise loose confidence and move away from investing in countries currencies in danger of running into problems of high inflation or debt.2 That such a country that got into trouble would not be able to devalue currency or adopt lose money policies, and would also not enjoy the sorts of automatic transfers that operate in federal countries Then the only real option to absorb a shock would be greater borrowing by the government at the reduced interest rates available to them from market being lax Clearly, focusing on debt to GDP figures and enforcing strict limits seemed the best way to overcome the problems of an EMU that is not a Federal union.Plenty of Gaps in Financial RegulationHowever, some of the gaps as far as Banking and Financial system was concerned was ignored for too long in all this concern for Fiscal discipline The new unified market and banking system under the ECB that was being created could not be said to have any sort of full fledged monetary policy capacity since the ECB was not even given overall responsibility for bank supervision, which stayed at national level, an arrangement that has since been deemed unsatisfactory, with the planned banking union giving supervision of most large European banks to the ECB It also had no obligation to act as the system s lender of last resort nor was there any sort of deposit insurance system that was instituted Without a Central Bank s capacity to conjure money out of thin air, the system was left with no one with the capacity and obligation to protect the banking system, the depositors and the sovereigns a huge potential problem once it took over the operation of monetary policy from national central banks Without these basic functions and powers how can a central bank truly regulate What mechanism can it have Moreover, the ECB s one size fits all interest rates and exchange rates is a one size fits none arrangement at the same time is might be too low for Germany and other strong economies and too high for weak Mediterranean countries like Greece with debt problems, or, at other times too low for overheating countries like Greece, but too high for Germany The German domination over the ECB also meant that loose money policy, especially radical measures like a dose of American style quantitative easing, was mostly anathema.Enforcement What is that Then to add on to these problems came laxity in enforcement the fiscal criteria encapsulated in not so bad ass sounding schemes like the excessive deficit procedure stability and growth pact, etc However, from the very beginning the rules against excessive deficits and public debt levels were interpreted flexibly And once Germany and France colluded to block any official rebuke or sanctions for letting their budget deficits rise above the Maastricht ceiling of 3% of GDP and rendered it toothless, the gutting of the Fiscal requirement were complete From then on, so the story goes, all semblance of fiscal discipline was abandoned.All this meant that problems were only waiting to happen And the relaxed entry of some of the mediterranean countries one does not say no to Plato helped precipitate this very fast.Greece The Petri Dish CaseThe circumstances that led to the Greek crisis, via the good pre 2008 times, and the way it was handled botched is used as an example to show up some of these flaws and deficiencies and to highlight what needs to be done to make EU a success The Blame GameIt is argued that the blame should be placed on both 1 those who created such a death trap of a currency union, to begin with, followed by the reckless borrowers and the irresponsible lenders of the first decade of EMU2 the lax policy response later from the ECB, IMF and the stronger nations of the EU who could have limited the fallout but failed to act decisively.It is true that the deficit countries used the low interest rates unproductively and profligately Not to mention the fact that the complacent financial markets utterly failed in their allocation of credit and calculations of risk Getting markets to impose discipline on governments had been one reason for enshrining the no bail out rule and forbidding the ECB from monetizing government debt But this plan didn t take into account the irrationality of markets flush with overconfidence and easy money in the pre 2008 global economyDiscipline the Markets Greece was plainly bankrupt Its debt should have been cut early and decisively rather than late and messily, thereby giving private creditors the chance to dump Greek bonds The losses would thus fall on those that lent the money to uncreditworthy countries.This would have hurt the bad lenders early and made them wary of speculation contaminated by plenty of moral hazard It is important to enforce discipline on the rogue elements of the markets first if you expect markets to enforce discipline on the sovereigns, whether it be in the local pond of the European bond market or the larger international waters where the sharky portfolio investors hunt.The Austerity QuestionAnd finally, the bail outs of the lenders than the borrowers in many ways made the mistake of enforcing procyclcical austerity measures only worsening the recessionary impact of the economic cycle and plunging Greece further into the debt trap With no functional monetary policy and toothless fiscal policy once lending capacity was compromised , Greece had no options but to keep accepting the loans and the conditions.The Dark Future of GrexitAfter this, a few future options for Greece are discussed including the specter of Grexit.Even if it may seem so today, it unlikely that the EU s single market would survive the domino effect led implosion, and it would probably be followed by capital controls, trade barriers and, possibly, a return to world of mercantilism Avoiding the Doomsday Preventing RadicalismHow to avoid such a scenario It would require straightening the accountability and safety in the financial system, as is already in the works with talks of a banking union But what is also needed are the basics of a federal budgeting process that provides public goods and redistributes income between rich and poor citizens and states The EU has a tiny budget, no power of taxation and no powers to borrow And the eurozone has no budget at all, even a modest one, that could make transfers when countries suffer a downturn in the form of unemployment insurances, etc.This would protect countries hit by the flaws of EU to escape the worst of the problems that afflict its citizens such as high unemployment This would then allow protection against the kind of civil unrest that took place in Greece Besides, it would also prevent the easy radicalization of politics that happen in countries where the citizens have to endure clear and present hardship even as neighboring nationals seem to living in prosperity Slow growth and high unemployment have been radicalizing politics and intensifying rejection of both national and European politicians So the next crisis may well be political Anti EU, anti immigrant and anti establishment parties of all colors are on the rise Only a EU level budget to protect the losers of globalization can help fight this tendency that can easily lead to protectionism across the weaker economies and thus soon among the stronger economies.Intrusive EconomicsInstead of these steps, the economic governance created in recent years is a soup of incomprehensible jargon six pack, two pack, fiscal compact, Euro Plus Pact, European semester, annual growth survey, excessive deficit procedure, macroeconomic imbalances procedure, contractual arrangements for reform, and much .All this amounts to an unprecedented intrusion by an unaccountable EU bureaucracy that satisfies nobody Just as in the case of globalization, the nations on the periphery are and afraid that the run of the core economic system is being run by the in countries and their institutions that increasingly the European Union and the euro zone are deciding matters without sufficient democratic control As the eurozone or the western world with respect to globalization integrates further and intrusively, it is running into a huge potential row about the legitimacy and democratic accountability of its actions Indeed, it is this, rather than the financial markets, that could pose one of the biggest risks to the EU s future As we can see the same concerns are present if we examine the international institutions such as WTO, IMF and the United Nations The intrusions are inevitable and lack of democratic control only precipitates fear and distrust from the out group countries, which happen to be most of the world The eurozone s financial system was sufficiently integrated to spread contagion, but not integrated enough to provide resilience It has no central budget or other means of absorbing asymmetric shocks that hit one or two countries disproportionately Hence, when the crisis hit, the euro zone had no means of giving assistance to countries that got into trouble.A bit of imagination should suffice to see how each of these conditions of integrated markets, contagion and no resilience applies to the globalized international markets as well Greece paid a disproportionate price of the US regulatorial slackness and the 2008 crisis, so did many others across the globe There was no system to make sure that they were protected in some manner The markets are irrational and the international institutional system is built on a willful ignorance of this fact We cannot have true globalization with only markets running it, just like couldn t have had any sort of true democracy if it was merely laissez faire that guaranteed it.Global Federalism The eurozone and the globalizing world should look to the United States and ask itself why does the prospect of default by one state not call into question the existence of the dollar The short answer is that the United States is a single federal country, while the euro zone is a much looser confederation of sovereign countries who are willing to contaminate one another, but not willing to help one another out.Europe s real folly and the folly of the globalization project as a whole was not to look for the gains from opening up of trade, financial integration, exchange rate stability and economic efficiency, even if they might have been overstated The madness was to believe that these benefits could be obtained on the cheap, without the political constraints, economic flexibility, financial transfers and risk sharing mechanisms of genuine integrated markets, i.e., federations.Clearly the answer is in some sort of Federalism, not only for the Eurozone, but also for the world And it is worth building, and fast After all, Europe s and globalization s malaise is not one that time alone can heal Delay is likely to make things worse, not better Even if the the financial panic is kept in abeyance, the economic and political crises may well deepen Right now the political momentum is towards fragmentation, not integration Unless the euro zone and by extending the argument the globalized world economy is redesigned with greater determination, in particular through greater risk sharing, it is unlikely to recover economic vitality And unless the euro and globalization can be shown to deliver prosperity and well being, public support for the EU Project and the Globalization Project will inexorably ebb away.The eurozone crisis has the potential to destroy the European project Something of great value may thus be lost through carelessness or timidity.The Grecian ProdBut on the other hand it also has the potential to prod Europe and the broader world into quickened action to make sure that economic integration is attended by fiscal safety nets and fast reductions in the accumulating democratic deficit with respect to the institutions that govern that economic integration.The hope is that this realization and the prod for quicker action can be had from the high profile case of Greece where most of the flaws and the urgent reforms have been highlighted Hopefully Europe will stop finding its way gradually like a blind man stumbling form one wrong turn and crisis to another before stumbling on the right room and instead sit down and chart out a roadmap for the destination it really wants to reach.The steps to this are laid out as first having a system of transfer in place, via ECB first by making it a lender of last resort and then moving to a integrated fiscal union and eventually a political union by the gradual addition of democratic accountability A dreamy euro federalist vision is thus put forth, and it is hoped that it does not bring forth much derision from the realist among the viewers All this can thus be connected back to the idea of globalization with a hope that eventually we might achieve similar results for the world as a whole In short, the euro federalist dream is extended to include another dreamy hope that the nation state system that was propagated by Europe, will hopefully be transcended by the same Europe The EU experiment has much significance it the grander scheme of things on how the world will look like a century or so from now and the best sort of effort has to be made to make it work, even at the cost of some sovereignty or pride.The World is Not FlatAnd, one last thing Before someone asks, Why review this book for discussing all this , let me answer Friedman argued that the world is flat because of Globalization.However this whole argument would indicate that the world is not flat, because Globalization is not complete, it is not even past the first leg of the race And the flattening of the world wont happen unless we aim for real globalization, unless the race is fully run, all the hurdles jumped.The world needs a lot flattening to even out the very rough edges the edges that cut all too easily This is because flatness is not based on merely economic or trade considerations It has to be based on democratic accountability, when clearly the international organizations are going to have an ever intrusive role in national matters.If not the opposite would result the nations would reject the international organizations and challenge their legitimacy And the whole project depends on this legitimacy not being challenged It could be that occasional prosperity might dampen the force of these questions, but in an integrated world crises will surely be common and so will contagion, and then the only thing that can save the institutions and the whole globalized system is accountability and true democratic legitimacy Globalization has to be built on democratization and not merely on ships or aviation fuel.That then was a bloated summary of a video which is in fact much simpler and non technical Again, pls do watch the video and let me know if it was fun.

  4. says:

    Non Fiction Friedman explains to us, over and over, how globalization has effectively turned the world into a very very small place I was okay with his metaphor of a flat world at first, but over time it started to irritate me It s neither elegant nor practical No matter how many virtual conference rooms you have, in a flat world it s still going to take forever to get material goods moved from China to the US, unlike our current round model later he even starts to talk about how some parts of the world are unflat, ow, my head but still, his point remains digitization, miniaturization, virtualization, and personalization have conspired to make our planet very small indeed, metaphorically speaking For the most part, Friedman has a highly romanticized view of globalization, looking at it as of a fascinating academic theory than a real force, and only talking to people who have benefited from the rampant outsourcing and supply chaining.The first two thirds of this book suffer from a distinct lack of real world consequence It s all happy anecdotes and economic theory, which isn t exactly Friedman s strong point Because of this, it took me about six months to read, was constantly inspiring me to nap, and was just generally twice as long as it needed to be Friedman makes up a lot of jargon going as far as to repurpose common words for his own oblique purposes and it can be difficult to remember what he s talking about at any given moment The other problem is Friedman s scope and focus When I read non fiction, I like each chapter to have a thesis Friedman prefers to wander up and down the page, make the same point several times, dump a lot of irrelevant statistics on me, and then scurry off to deliver a glancing blow to a new perspective, only to doggedly return to his original thrice made point as if I hadn t gotten it the first two times.But, if you can make it through all that, cold hard reality shows up in the third act and things finally get interesting Friedman admits that only.2% of Indians are employed in the technological industry he was so happily touting just a few chapters before He admits that the world is not entirely flat, and that it may never become fully flat due to poverty, war, or simple fear He talks about the ramifications of a flat world, the ways it can go wrong, how terrorist networks take advantage of the same readily available work force and supply chain that Dell or Infosys does He takes the first two thirds of the book and puts it into context This part I read in just three days This is the part I can use Globalization isn t just about Americans losing jobs It s so much bigger than that It s about the flow of information, about vulnerability and anger, about global responsibility Those last hundred and fifty pages were worth struggling through the first three hundred, but only highlight how The World is Flat is mishmash than structured thesis.This gets two stars for the first two thirds of the book and four stars for the last third, giving it an average of three stars.

  5. says:

    Fucking flat earthersOh wait, that s not what he means All right, maybe I ll read it That was me about five or so years ago when friends kept insisting I read The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman Finally, when my wife recently bought tickets to a local Friedman talk, I resolved to read the damn thing.I m glad I did It s really good I m not saying it s prefect I ll get to that in a minute , but this is a must read at least for a certain few people with their heads in the clouds For one, it s a great book for folks who don t understand what has happened since the advent of the internet Give this as a gift to your dad or gramps If they don t use it as a doorstop, they ll get a hell of an education on the modern ways of business and sociability The other group of people that need to read this, or really any book like this, are those cretins who troll, lurk and spew upon the comment section of news articles online Everybody seems to have an indisputable, unshakable opinion that they take for fact and which they feel the need to spray all over the internet They are the modern version of every family s uncle from the good ol days who would show up at family events and holidays seemingly for the sole purpose of annoying everyone else while starting an argument with another alpha male about politics, religion, economics and any other myriad of topics that most sane people know is off limits around family and friends you wish to retain as such The real crime in all this is that they don t usually know what the fuck they re talking about They have one biased, uninformed talking point on whatever the subject is they ll let you hear it.So yes, I do feel like a book like this is helpful for a segment of the population, especially in these particularly stupid days in the American dark ages The problem is, at 600 pages, this book is 300 pages longer than it needs to be The World Is Flat A Brief History of the Twenty first Century is not brief That s because it s written as a journalist would write a book This is a book length feature article Friedman makes a statement, maybe backs it up with data, and then gives an example via a full blown biography on a business or entrepreneur It s all good stuff Some of it s even enjoyable But it s than necessary for what s actually being said He could ve done with less I honestly doubt I would ve gotten through this if I hadn t gone with the audiobook version and had a cubic buttload of yard work to do.Now, that s not to say didn t enjoy this or that I didn t get something out of it I did I am getting old and so some of these whippersnappers with their new fangled gadgets befuddle me However, I did grow up in the age when personal computers were first coming into the home I even had a Commodore 64, baby So I m not at a total loss in the computer age On the other hand, I am a bit of a recluse and I m not big into global politics and the economy, so sadly I am having to catch up on that and a book like this taught me a thing or two So, let s call it a good stepping stone for the uninitiated.

  6. says:

    The first big mistake I made was deciding to buy the 2.0 edition of the book updated and expanded Redundancy is one of the book s signature features so updating and expanding it only compounds the sins of this feature My second big mistake was deciding to finish reading it after first running aground about half way through and taking a several month sabbatical to read worthy books All right I m being testy It wasn t such a big mistake Friedman is a smart guy but way too full of himself, the book s title is sufficient evidence of that The World Is Flat, too cute and not up to the belaboring it gets and the false on three fronts humility of the subtitle The book isn t brief and it is not a history, nor is there any humility in the pretend irony of A Brief History of the Twenty First Century Indeed there is no humility in this book that isn t a pretence designed to cast the author s brilliance in finer relief And the man thinks he is Adam set loose in a new conceptual world where he is entitled to name anything and everything You can run out of fingers and toes, even if you borrow those of friends and family, counting the times Friedman begins a sentence or phrase with a variation of something I like to call I don t know in the whole history of publishing if there is a writer who claimed coining so many phrases, the majority of which are as pedestrian as they come It s not just flat world and the concept of flattening or the coefficient of flatness, it s Globalization 1.0 and it s 2.0 and 3.0 descendents, it s In forming , it s glocalization, it s, oh, why go on This book had all the makings of an outstanding essay or two or three very good Sunday Times magazine features It s got the trends in business, technology, and perhaps culture and politics right It s by turns inspiring, scary, and tediously bloated It is a wearying, self promotional exercise in over and over re stating what s became obvious twelve anecdotes and 34 declarations ago The best part of the book and, for me, it s only enduring redeeming value is its bookmark, a Valentine s Day card, handmade by my fianc e But I don t think that came with everyone s copy.

  7. says:

    Detailed, thorough, and very informative Friedman has a folksy style of journalism that brings complex business and social processes down to earth though he also has an undue penchant for coining obnoxious phrases, like glocalize or Islamo Leninist Good for getting a grip on the major issues of globalization, including things that affect you every day and you probably know nothing about.But you have to read between the lines Friedman is openly supportive of globalization, and his presentation is generally from a corporate level perspective with only occasional sorties into the gritty realities of the people who suffer because of it I find his excessive focus on globalization s winners India and China disingenuous and his almost complete lack of any reference to Latin America and Africa disturbing I find it irritating that he fails to decode the euphemisms that his executive interviewees commonly use, such as Wal Mart s CEO referring to its low cost business culture which means no healthcare for employees He has far too much faith in the magical power of markets to solve problems, breezily dismisses most of the serious objections to the current trends, and refuses to take seriously the social and psychological, in addition to economic, effects of globalization But that s my political bent your mileage may vary.This book has two main problems unconnected to political philosophy First, proponents of globalization, especially journalistic trendcasters, face an insoluble paradox By their own accounts, what is happening right now is a drastic reorganization that is an order of magnitude larger than the Industrial Revolution, an order of magnitude faster, and accelerating all the time Yet they talk about these revolutionary developments as if the changes can be managed by reformed healthcare and education policies The Industrial Revolution was accompanied by massive dislocation, population migrations, revolutions, colonialism, wrenching poverty, industrialized total war, and so on If globalization is really so huge and so fast, then pretending that the same or worse is not going to happen is just stupid.Second, Friedman talks a lot about nations like India, China, and the U.S with detailed policy critiques and prescriptions, but he seems to miss the logical result of globalization the death of the nation state The free flow of capital and the internationalization of labor pools means transnational corporations with money and power than governments, with no national loyalties to tie them down and no serious rivals except each other The erosion of the nation state, and the imagined communities upon which modern identities are based, is as revolutionary a phenomenon as its formation in the first place, and that will necessarily change everything I fail to understand why Friedman does not see the implications of the processes that he describes.Anyhoo It s worth reading, even if Friedman makes you as angry as he made me, because at the least it brings up some issues that people should really start thinking about carefully.

  8. says:

    Holy sh this book went on and on And on The world is flat, oh yes I see But how flat is the world again, Mr Friedman Tell me once again, exactly how flat is it Really flat You don t say Maybe it s just me being a grad student for too long, but I prefer my nonfiction books to have a list of references Perhaps a footnote or two But this book is just a series of anecdotes with some jargon thrown in Bangalorecuriosity quotientflattenersin formingBangalorecompassionate flatismglocalizationBangalore.But that s apparently what he intended If you made it to page 629 in the 2006 version bonus flatness , you might have noticed that Friedman approvingly quotes Stanley Fischer as saying that one good example is worth a thousand theories Uh, what That doesn t make any sense Freidman thinks so, though this book is a thousand good examples that add up to a few coherent theories Maybe the topic of globalization is just too broad to write concisely about, or maybe Friedman was looking at way too many trees rather than seeing the forest But this book annoyed the hell out of me, and it only got worse as it went on.Not to say I wouldn t recommend it I mean, read chapters 1 4, then just pick and choose what interests you in the middle, and then read 15 17 because those actually say something new The book thoroughly covers globalization and the business world, and America s place in the new economy It covers a lot of ground And mostly, the ideas are great and well founded.I did get a little squeamish at times, when Friedman s advocacy of free trade borders on trickle down meritocratic patriotic Republicanisms See p 496 The inspirational power of a local business success story is incalculable There is no greater motivator for the poor than looking at one of their own who makes it big and saying If she can do it, I can do it But his heart is in the right place, I think See p 265 a policy of free trade, while necessary, is not enough by itself It must be accompanied by a focused domestic strategy aimed at upgrading the education of every American, so that he or she will be able to compete for the new jobs in a flat world I can agree with that.But really, if you re under 30 you need to read this book like you need a hole in the head You ve been living it Go read a blog.

  9. says:

    I consider myself a bit of a tech nerd I love any new technology that is designed to enhance my life I can t imagine life before my cell phone, my iPod, and my mac I love flat panel monitors, digital cameras and satellite radio As such I considered myself pretty up on the latest technological advances After reading this book, I realized that not only is technology affecting my life than I was aware, but it is also changing the way the whole world interacts This book explains in laymens terms I could understand that technology is changing the world on an almost daily basis and only the nations that are able to keep up will be able to compete in the new economy This book is entertaining AND enlightening in a way that I was completely engrossed from the first chapter Thomas Friedman s writng style is intelligent yet non condescending I recommend this to anyone whether you re a techno geek or if you re just curious about how UPS works or even if you re wondering who the heck you re speaking with when you call Tech Support This book should almost be required reading P.S I m new to goodreads so i will have plenty reviews to come This is just one of my recent favorites

  10. says:

    I made it through A History of God and Absalom, Absalom but I could not make myself finish this book I gave it six weeks and 350 pages, but in the end I couldn t take any Friedman s writing is at times brilliant he is a master synthesizer, taking complicated economic, political, technological, and social phenomena and artfully explaining the connections between them all and what that means for the future of our world I had to give this book three stars because I did learn a great deal Though I can t speak for the second half of the book, he does an excellent job of telling the stories of Wal Mart, of outsourcing in India, of China s rise, and so on Because I work in the administrative side of higher education, I was especially appreciative of his perspective on the growing global competitiveness in education and the American educational failures that are only just beginning to show their effects He has a real talent for taking all these stories out of their silos and blending them together to paint an exhaustingly comprehensive picture of globalization Be warned Friedman very obviously knows he s a talented writer and decides that gives him license to write a 600 plus page book that could have been 350 He inserts hundreds of personal anecdotes that quickly wore on my patience, especially the dozen or so where he feels the need to remind us repeatedly that his daughter Orly went to Yale the fact that I remember her name tells you how many times it was mentioned He also delights in cheesy, italicized repetitions of lines from his many interviews as well as painfully corny metaphors I realize I ve spent of this review on process rather than product, but that s what is a real shame about this book In theory, I think this is a must read In practice, I commend anyone who makes it all the way through The all important content suffers too much from Friedman s often irritating and always lengthy prose.

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