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The Global Me: New Cosmopolitans and the Competitive Edge: Picking Globalism's Winners and Losers Hardcover – January, 2000

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Editorial Reviews Review

"Diversity," declares Wall Street Journal senior writer G. Pascal Zachary in his opening to The Global Me, "defines the health and wealth of nations in a new century." Changes in economics, technology, and identity, he argues, have made diversity an increasingly common thread among successful people, thriving countries, and "the world's biggest, richest, most profit-hungry corporations." Zachary examines our growing propensity to lay claim to both "roots" and "wings"--meaning specific "ethnoracial affiliations"--as well as an openness to new ties, leading to creativity and economic strength. He goes on to show how this is playing out in the United States, Germany, Ireland, and Japan; the benefits and drawbacks involved; and how leaders can advance the former while constraining the latter. Zachary uses the terms "mongrel," "hybrid," and "cosmopolitan" interchangeably to describe the new world citizen, and kicks off every chapter with illustrative vignettes spotlighting real-life examples from England, Switzerland, California, Moldova, Germany, Canada, and Thailand. In the future, the author concludes, hybrid cultures at all levels will prevail over their counterpart monocultures "in the intensifying global competition for trade and technology, wealth and jobs." His argument is provocative and original. --Howard Rothman

From Library Journal

This is the third book by Zachary, a senior writer at the Wall Street Journal's London bureau, whose previous works include Showstopper, a 1994 account of the development of Windows NT, and Endless Frontier, a highly regarded 1997 biography of Vannevar Bush. Here he changes gears and considers how, under the right conditions, individuals, groups, organizations, and nations that foster an acceptance of diversity can triumph in the global marketplace over those that don't. Punctuating his narrative with life stories drawn from "new cosmopolitans" living in England, Ireland, Germany, Japan, Korea, Israel, Macedonia, Borneo, and the United States, he shows how individuals who cross traditional cultural bounds bring new opportunities and innovation to those with whom they work. Most telling is his condemnation of the Germans and Japanese, who erect barriers to the cross-cultural activities he advocates, and his praise of the Irish and the companies in Silicon Valley for encouraging such activities. Recommended for both academic and larger public libraries.DNorman B. Hutcherson, California State Univ. Lib., Bakersfield
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1st edition (January 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891620614
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891620614
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,557,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By joe naphier on September 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The author does an excellent job of suggesting a new civilization arising out of emerging technologies and expanding global economies. Using real life individuals and institutions, Zachary defines national diversity, a hybridity of cultures, and a cosmopolitan sense of self as positive traits for the new millineum and beyond. He shows that the new identity will result from migration, racial mixing and ethno-racial affiliations and how they will help determine winners and losers in the new century. While I agree in principle that a world in which nations openly embrace multiculturism are better positioned to alleviate economic stagnation and instill social cohesion, I hesitate to agree that these factors alone are priority in terms of the health and wealth of a country. This is particularly true given the speed at which technology is changing virtually everything in society. What is good today is not necessarily so good tomorrow. Remember the 8-track tape? Seen in this light, it begs the question of the conditions under which homogenous groups achieve compared to the conditions under which heterogenous ones do best. Its hard to imagine that during a crisis, a team of mixed cultural individuals could respond as fast as those from a homogenous one. On the other hand, it is very easily to see how the quality of results from mixed cultures would be superior to those of a one mindness. Thus while cultural-fluency will factor heavily into the failure or success of companies in a global economy, remember it is important to get the right mix. In the words of the author,"...countries struggle with diversity-too much can be harmful while too little harms growth and security".
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By A Customer on September 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The strength of diversity always had a religious quality for me. it was something i had to believe despite my natural inclination.
i am the person, as zachary described, who feels comfortable eating lunch with other koreans likes of me. sometimes i pressure myself to eat hamburgers with my white coworkers at the next table. i eat kimchee during lunch and worry about my breath afterward.
i work for a korean company even though my korean is limited and hate many things that are korean. i argue with my korean coworkers who exhibit outdated business customs from Korea. i openly disagree with my boss and write my memos in english despite alienating the headquarters staff.
i cannot imagine myself living in seoul, but dream of moving to sydney. my wife is from sydney but speaks excellent korean. i listen to korean mp3 files at my office, but turn the volume down when a japanese coworker walks in.
what i saw previously as contradictions and identity conflicts were the strengths of diversity that zachary described. i turned out to be the cosmopolitan that fuels the economic, politcal and cultural progress. i feel exonerated thanks to zachary.
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By Hiker Hauk on April 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The book is generally great. The author is open-minded. But he misused some unnecessary politics. E.g. he kept addressing Taiwan as a nation. And he regarded a group of cheaters (Fa Lun Gong)as religion. Obviously, God doesn't defy Newton's Laws, or I won't have faith in him. But Fa Lun Gong defy science.
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