cover image A Future Perfect: The Essentials of Globalization

A Future Perfect: The Essentials of Globalization

John Micklethwait, Author, Adrian Wooldridge, Joint Author Crown Business $27.5 (416p) ISBN 978-0-8129-3096-2

Despite the virtual blizzard of political rhetoric, statistics and rumors surrounding the topic of globalization, Micklethwait and Wooldridge (The Witch Doctors) wade into the fray and emerge with an accessible, up-to-the-minute report. In the tradition of classical laissez-faire economic philosophers Adam Smith, David Ricardo and John Stuart Mill, they portray globalization as a savage but beneficial process that has already led to greater economic efficiency and individual freedom of choice. ""Business people are the most obvious beneficiaries,"" Micklethwait and Wooldridge acknowledge, but they also argue that consumers profit from variety, innovation and lower prices. With a vast array of anecdotal evidence, they point out that the cheaper materials and labor and faster distribution now available in the global marketplace mean that innovative goods and services can come from an entrepreneur like Charlie Woo of Los Angeles (who created a niche in the highly lucrative toy market), from the startups of Silicon Valley and from Hollywood, which they praise for its flexibility, innovation and hyper competition. Yet in their impassioned advocacy of globalization, Micklethwait and Wooldridge do not allow themselves sufficient space to systematically address the extent of its destabilizing economic effects or the havoc it has wreaked on many countries--a significant flaw in what is otherwise an estimable effort. Agent, Sarah Chalfant, Andrew Wylie Literary Agency. Major ad/promo; 7-city author tour. (May)