New York Times columnist Friedman was best known as the author of The Lexus and the Olive Tree , one of the major"/>

THE WORLD IS FLAT: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century

Thomas L. Friedman, Author, Oliver Wyman, Read by . Farrar, Straus & Giroux $27.50 (496p) ISBN 978-0-374-29288-1

Before 9/11, New York Times columnist Friedman was best known as the author of The Lexus and the Olive Tree , one of the major popular accounts of globalization and its discontents. Having devoted most of the last four years of his column to the latter as embodied by the Middle East, Friedman picks up where he left off, saving al-Qaeda et al. for the close. For Friedman, cheap, ubiquitous telecommunications have finally obliterated all impediments to international competition, and the dawning "flat world" is a jungle pitting "lions" and "gazelles," where "economic stability is not going to be a feature" and "the weak will fall farther behind." Rugged, adaptable entrepreneurs, by contrast, will be empowered. The service sector (telemarketing, accounting, computer programming, engineering and scientific research, etc.), will be further outsourced to the English-spoken abroad; manufacturing, meanwhile, will continue to be off-shored to China. As anyone who reads his column knows, Friedman agrees with the transnational business executives who are his main sources that these developments are desirable and unstoppable, and that American workers should be preparing to "create value through leadership" and "sell personality." This is all familiar stuff by now, but the last 100 pages on the economic and political roots of global Islamism are 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. (Apr. 5)

Reviewed on: 03/28/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005
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FORMATS
Paperback - 660 pages - 978-0-14-103489-8
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-59397-668-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-59397-669-9
Compact Disc
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7927-3521-2
Compact Disc - 978-0-7927-3522-9
Hardcover - 839 pages - 978-0-7862-7722-3
Hardcover - 593 pages
Compact Disc
Compact Disc - 978-0-7927-4263-0
Hardcover - 660 pages - 978-0-374-29278-2
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