"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
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