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Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution - and How It Can Renew America, Release 2.0 Paperback – November 24, 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 424 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Friedman produces cogent analyses of the most important developments of our time. . . . A convincing case for the green revolution required to rescue us from an unsustainable course.” ―USA Today

“Friedman has made himself a major interpreter of the confusing world we inhabit. . . . He gets the big issues right.” ―The Washington Post Book World

“A compelling manifesto that deserves a wide reading, especially by members of Congress.” ―The Boston Globe

“If Friedman's profile and verve take his message where it needs to be heard, into the boardrooms of America and beyond, that can only be good--for all our sakes.” ―The New York Times Book Review

“Tom Friedman has done it again. . . . He has lit upon what he might describe as another Big Idea, and, given his track record as a zeitgeist thermometer, we should all pay attention. . . . He has a gift for weaving anecdotes and examples from around the world into his broader tapestry.” ―Financial Times

Hot, Flat, and Crowded may make it official, for many, that ecology-mindedness is the character of our times. . . . I hope everyone reads it.” ―The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Required reading” ―Business Week

New York Times columnist and globalization exponent Thomas Friedman pleads for Americans to wake up to the perils and opportunities of an emerging resource-strapped world. The author comes across as a blend of Will Rogers, Jack Welch and Norman Vincent Peale--a plain-spoken citizen outraged at the bullheadedness of U.S. politicians, yet optimistic about the power of ingenuity and finely crafted policy to avert disaster.” ―Newsweek

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. He is 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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 516 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; 2nd Revised & Enlarged edition (November 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312428928
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312428921
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (424 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Scott Schiefelbein VINE VOICE on May 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
NY Times columnist Tom Friedman has written some of the more important current events books of the last twenty years. This effort is a spin-off of his (so far) magnum opus, "The World is Flat." In that book, Friedman chronicled the dizzying array of changes that technology, demographics, and the fall of communism have unleashed upon the world. The message - the world has entered a new epoch fueled by instant communication and the mammoth human resources that have been unleashed in India, Latin America, and even Africa. A clear must-read, "TWIF" is an Important Book.

So it was no surprise that Friedman has cranked out a follow-up. In "Hot, Flat and Crowded," Friedman takes the same dynamics that he described in "TWIF" and examines their consequences on our polluted, energy-starved world. What will we do when literally hundreds of millions of people who previously consumed little or no energy (because they were so poor and had no infrastructure) enter the middle class work force thanks to the benefits of technology?

One of the problems Friedman posed in "TWIF" is that Americans who do not fight to stay ahead will be surpassed by ambitious folks from India, China, Latin America, etc. In "HFC," Friedman posits that a Green Energy revolution is the answer - the world is going to be crying out for alternative energy resources and products that encourage smart consumption of energy. If America can take the lead in these areas, our leadership role in the world is assured.

But Friedman sees problems everywhere - rightly so. Our government and economy are addicted to fossil fuels, and nobody is stepping up to take the leadership mantle.

So why only three stars? Well, first thing - Friedman has never been much of a stylist.
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Format: Hardcover
Friedman writes on world population, the increase of the global middle class, and the growing energy crisis. All of this has contributed to a world that is in desperate need of an energy solution. The thing I like about Friedman's approach is he's optimistic and he's practical. His major points are...

-- The battle over green (energy) will define the first part of the 21st century, just like the battle over red (communism) defined the last half of the 20th century.
-- Everyone needs to accept that oil will never again be cheap...
-- Off-shore drilling may be a temporary fix, but it's not the long-term solution.
-- The fossil-fuel age will end only when we invent our way out of it...
-- The last big innovation in energy production was nuclear power half a century ago, which is an important component to solving our energy problem, but we need additional solutions...
-- In order to further real innovation we need people "throwing crazy dollars at every idea, in every garage, that we have 100,000 people trying 100,000 things, five of which might work, and two might be the next green Google."
-- Friedman emphasizes the practical side of green - "It's the incredible sense of opportunity here. It's not just about saving the polar bears. It's not just about saving three generations from climate change. It's also about rising to the greatest economic opportunity that's come along in a long, long, time."

In the end, he is asking for collaboration and innovation. Of course that begs the question - where does the money come from for all of this? It's always easy to point at the government, but when we look at where real economic solutions have come from it's most often private industry. I wish Friedman would have written on how governments can create environments were private industry is incentivized to create, invent, and discover. Even so, Friedman's book is a needed wake-up call.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tom Friedman's book is a journalistic tour de force. He has been everywhere, it seems, and interviewed everyone who matters in doing his research. With that engaging style we are used to from his columns, he confronts here the biggest issues facing our nation and the planet. The book is essentially in two parts; a diagnosis, and a proposed cure. The first section is one of the most succint summaries that I am aware of what has gone wrong in our civilization over the past fifty years. His equations of financial meltdown with global warming are clever...The second half of the book, however, is very different, though no less impressive in its way; a kind of well-informed optimistic wish list of steps to turn the crisis around. It does, however, as Friedman states himself several times, often sound a bit like science fiction. Everything he suggests, from a 'smart' utility grid, to universal green fiscal incentives, is possible, but you come away from the book feeling that their achievement, on the grand or global scale, is rather like trying to scale Mount Everest with a Segway. Friedman points out plenty of examples of individual pioneers, but that's an entirely different thing to remolding the national consciousness from the inside, which is what he proposes. The book is actually replete with example of the vast entrenched obstacles in the way of getting to where he wants to go. It seems a pity, but after reading this book I actually feel more pessimistic about the possibility of America regenerating itself in the twenty first century.
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