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The World Is Flat : A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century [Kindle Edition]

Thomas L. Friedman
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (318 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This Independence Day edition of The World is Flat 3.0 includes an an exclusive preview of That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back, by Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum, on sale September 5th, 2011.

A New Edition of the Phenomenal #1 Bestseller
 
"One mark of a great book is that it makes you see things in a new way, and Mr. Friedman certainly succeeds in that goal," the Nobel laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz wrote in The New York Times reviewing The World Is Flat in 2005. In this new edition, Thomas L. Friedman includes fresh stories and insights to help us understand the flattening of the world. Weaving new information into his overall thesis, and answering the questions he has been most frequently asked by parents across the country, this third edition also includes two new chapters--on how to be a political activist and social entrepreneur in a flat world; and on the more troubling question of how to manage our reputations and privacy in a world where we are all becoming publishers and public figures.
 
The World Is Flat 3.0 is an essential update on globalization, its opportunities for individual empowerment, its achievements at lifting millions out of poverty, and its drawbacks--environmental, social, and political, powerfully illuminated by the Pulitzer Prize--winning author of The Lexus and the Olive Tree.



Editorial Reviews

Review

"Captivating . . . an enthralling read. To his great credit, Friedman embraces much of his flat world's complexity, and his reporting brings to vibrant life some beguiling characters and trends. . . . [The World is Flat] is also more lively, provocative, and sophisticated than the overwhelming bulk of foreign policy commentary these days. We've no real idea how the twenty-first century's history will unfold, but this terrifically stimulating book will certainly inspire readers to start thinking it all through."--Warren Bass, The Washington Post
 
"Nicely sums up the explosion of digital-technology advances during the past fifteen years and places the phenomenon in its global context. . . . Friedman never shrinks from the biggest problems and the thorniest issues."--Paul Magnusson, BusinessWeek
 
"[This book's] insight is true and deeply important. . . . The metaphor of a flat world, used by Friedman to describe the next phase of globalization, is ingenious."--Fareed Zakaria, The New York Times Book Review (front cover review)
 
"A brilliant, instantly clarifying metaphor for the latest, arguably the most profound conceptual mega-shift to rock the world in living memory."--David Ticoll, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
 
"No one today chronicles global shifts in simple and practical terms quite like Friedman. He plucks insights from his travels and the published press that can leave you spinning like a top. Or rather, a pancake."--Clayton Jones, The Christian Science Monitor
 
"[The World is Flat] is filled with the kind of close reporting and intimate yet accessible analysis that have been hard to come by. Add in Friedman's winning first-person interjections and masterful use of strategic wonksterisms, and this book should end up on the front seats of quite a few Lexuses and S...

Review

"Excellent...[This book's] insight is true and deeply important... The metaphor of a flat world, used by Friedman to describe the next phase of globalization, is ingenious." --Fareed Zakaria, The New York Times Book Review (cover review)
 
"Captivating . . . an enthralling read. To his great credit, Friedman embraces much of his flat world's complexity, and his reporting brings to vibrant life some beguiling characters and trends. . . . [The World is Flat] is also more lively, provocative, and sophisticated than the overwhelming bulk of foreign policy commentary these days. We've no real idea how the twenty-first century's history will unfold, but this terrifically stimulating book will certainly inspire readers to start thinking it all through."--Warren Bass, The Washington Post

"No one today chronicles global shifts in simple and practical terms quite like Friedman. He plucks insights from his travels and the published press that can leave you spinning like a top. Or rather, a pancake."--Clayton Jones, The Christian Science Monitor

"Friedman . . . nicely sums up the explosion of digital-technology advances during the past fifteen years and places the phenomenon in its global context. . . . He never shrinks from the biggest problems and the thorniest issues."--Paul Magnusson, BusinessWeek

"[The World is Flat] is filled with the kind of close reporting and intimate yet accessible analysis that have been hard to come by. Add in Friedman's winning first-person interjections and masterful use of strategic wonksterisms, and this book should end up on the front seats of quite a few Lexuses and SUVs of all stripes."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Product Details


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
88 of 98 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
No doubt, Friedman will get you thinking.

You may end up thinking Friedman has really informed you on what this grand notion of "globalization" is all about. His book has reached millions, including leaders in business government and education, many who now feel fully informed on the subject.

But, just stop to consider his "base assumptions," the 10 so-called flatteners. Most aren't new at all and some fundamental flatteners such as containerized shipping aren't mentioned at all (see The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger). (nevermind the consequences when the end of cheap eneregy flattens the global logistics routes)

So, go ahead and read this book, but when you are finished, and especially if you are awed, I'd suggest you consider reading Aronica and Ramdoo's critical analysis of Friedman's book. It just could make you "think again," even about those so-called 10 flatteners.

The World Is Flat?: A Critical Analysis of New York Times Bestseller by Thomas Friedman

Aronica and Ramdoo will also point you to the true thought leaders on globalization, and summarize their take on Friedman's book: Stiglitz (Nobel Prize in economics), Baghwati(Columbia Professor), Prestowitz (Presidential Trade Advisor), Lemer (UCLA Professor), Ghemawat (Harvard Professor), Roach (Chief Economist at Morgan Stanley), Palast (Investigative Reporter, UK)and others.

So, thank Friedman for an entertaining read, and using his status as a celebrity pundit for making us all aware of the great reorganization the world is going through. But, please don't stop there, for there is far more to the unfolding story of globalization, and all of us are being affected.
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83 of 94 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Long winded, very very long winded October 21, 2008
Format:Paperback
I am surprised by how many reviewers described this book as "well written." I found it extremely wordy. The content to word ratio here is extremely low. The ideas in this book could have (and should have) been expressed in 150 pages or less. Instead Friedman drones on for close to 600 pages. The extreme length would have been justified if the book had gone into detail about certain topics or provided more rigorous analysis of different points of view. Instead its 600 pages of high level fluff. Does anyone really need a 600 page tome to tell them we are doing a lot of business with India? Is making a point concisely a lost art? Was Friedman paid by the word? Can I find an Indian gentleman to write me an executive summary of this leviathan?
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65 of 74 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing April 1, 2011
Format:Paperback
I picked up this book without reading any reviews on it hoping that I would get a neutral view and take on the phenomena of globalization. Now I wish I hadn't and I really wish Thomas Friedman hadn't "expanded and updated" the book - twice.

As I wanted to read a neutral book, I will give as neutral a review as possible.

His writing is engrossing, no doubt, and he makes very solid (while very obvious) points about what, who, and how globalization came to be and continues to advance. Within the first 300 pages or so, I really didn't take away anything new except a few of his personal delightful stories to use as examples of his points.

And then . . . came in the non-neutrality. He began making statements about Bush and other things that just leave a bad taste your mouth. Within the rest of the context of the book it seemed like he really didn't have to go into political scuttlebut. Typically it seems journalists have more credibility when they do not do as he did. Also, he points out some examples of (obvious) problems, but lots of his suggested solutions seem unrealistic; which is probably why I have still yet to see any of them come to be used. Some suggestions and prose were good, but the bad outweighed them.

Many times I found myself reading the same points over and over again in the same section. It seemed to me that he would grind many of them in so much and really drag on many of the chapters or sections that did not need to be as long to get the point across. An example of this (and I don't have the book right in front of me to point out the page numbers) is when he even uses the same word over 12 times in 2 1/2 pages to describe something. Not very flattering and it made the sentence structure hard to follow through.
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71 of 82 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Friedman missed the key point October 1, 2007
Format:Paperback
Friedman relies on personal anecdotes to generalize about a complex topic. His anecdotes are heavily biased, since he hangs around with captains of industry, who are big beneficiaries of laissez-faire globalization. He even justifies his approach with this quote: "One example is worth a thousand theories." Well, this topic is much too complex for such an approach. He is an entertaining (if very repetitive and self-absorbed) raconteur, but he misses the forest by spending over 600 pages congratulating himself for climbing a few low-hanging branches in the most obvious trees.

It is a mark of Friedman's approach and personality that he dates the beginning of "Flat World" phenomena to a few years ago, when he discovered them. He seems blissfully unaware of the long history of globalization. A few examples: 200 years ago, before refrigeration, North American entrepreneurs destroyed the English trade in domestic ice by building insulated ships and shipping New England ice to London (and even Calcutta); cheap water power and cotton in the US destroyed the British weaving trades 50 years later; 500 years ago, the takeover of Peruvian silver mines by Spanish entrepreneurs bankrupted silver production in Spain; there are countless examples of the effects of globalization from the Roman Empire's rise and fall as well (well-managed during the rise, disastrously so during the fall). Friedman's "born yesterday" myopia on this topic, and on the lessons of history, is puzzling.

Friedman glances by what is, in my mind, the central issue (e.g. the one that has the biggest impact on people): the different ways governments act and respond.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Paradigm shift on the way he describes things I lived ...
Paradigm shift on the way he describes things I lived thru in IT. But he has a more global view than I did from the trenches.
Published 12 days ago by Deborah Lockhart
4.0 out of 5 stars The world is getting smaller
“Yes, the consumer in us wants Wal-Mart prices, with all the fat gone. But the employee in us wants a little fat left on the bone, the way Costco does it, so that it can offer... Read more
Published 13 days ago by Reid Mccormick
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
This was a bit of a difficult read for me at first, but I found it highly enlightening.
Published 23 days ago by Lisa Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book concerning the truth about international and domestic outsourcing.
Published 23 days ago by Chipper
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have ever read
One of the best books I have ever read. A must-read for anyone who is interested in world affairs and specifically the evolution after the end of the cold war (initial flattener). Read more
Published 24 days ago by Stefan Lemperle
1.0 out of 5 stars Thank goodness I didn't have to read this!
Sadly this book was required for a college class my daughter took. I read a few passages when it arrived and was thankful I didn't have to read it myself. Read more
Published 1 month ago by jln
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking money and resources from our public school system to support...
I read Mr Friedman's first edition of "The World is Flat" and know reading the 3rd edition. By reading a brief history of the twenty-first century gives us a road map of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Charlie Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars a history if our changing world
Great book, but a little out of date. For example it is written before iPhones and champions the iPod and a Blackberry. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lemursss
3.0 out of 5 stars Here We Go Again: Discredited Iraq War Supporter Gives His Insights on...
This book attempts to analyze the impact of technology, but seems to fundamentally misunderstand what it will do to the world in the long run. Read more
Published 1 month ago by James D.
3.0 out of 5 stars but overall wasn't to bad.
I had to read this for school, but overall wasn't to bad.
Published 2 months ago by Ashley
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More About the Author

Thomas L. Friedman has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize three times for his work with The New York Times, where he serves as the foreign affairs columnist. Read by everyone from small-business owners to President Obama, Hot, Flat, and Crowded was an international bestseller in hardcover. Friedman is also the author of From Beirut to Jerusalem (1989), The Lexus and the Olive Tree (1999), Longitudes and Attitudes (2002), and The World is Flat (2005). He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

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Is a college degree over-rated today ?
I recommend you guys check the data before complaining. On average, there is a large salary gap between people with bachelor's degrees and people with only some college education. The gap has been growing over time, which means it's even better to have a bachelor's degree today than a few decades... Read More
Dec 11, 2010 by JP |  See all 4 posts
T Friedman needs to sit down and read what Adam Smith actually said and...
I agree. Try reading my book Free Trade Doesn't Work for a decent antidote:

Free Trade Doesn't Work: What Should Replace it and Why

Ian Fletcher
Jul 2, 2010 by Ian Fletcher |  See all 2 posts
Is he qualified?
Just to add a personal note, I had the pleasure of having Mr. Friedman as a special guest professor for a course on globalization in Spring 2005. As in the book, he offered a very passionate and engaging narrative on globalization, replete with anectdotal evidence.

However, he was pressed in... Read More
Dec 6, 2005 by P. Griffin |  See all 28 posts
Here's my review. Unable to post above.
"Climate scientsts that have tried to warn the public about the dangers of global warming faced persecution by the United States government and by US corporations."

GIVE ONE (1) EXAMPLE - AND CITE SOURCES.
Aug 19, 2007 by Scaramanga |  See all 2 posts
Friedman's Attempt to Flatten World Discontent
Yikes, where do I start? My favorite Hollywood fantasy is the one where the happy dancing natives are living an innocent, peaceful life in balance with nature until the evil white men come drag the men off to be slaves, burn down the village, and give diseases to all of the women. Please....... Read More
Mar 15, 2006 by Libertas |  See all 7 posts
New ideas on improving Job market Be the first to reply
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