cover image The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century

Thomas L. Friedman, , read by Oliver Wyman. . Audio Renaissance, $59.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-59397-669-9

With the rise of technologies like high-speed Internet and the knocking down of barriers both literal (the Berlin Wall) and figurative (the opening of China's economy to free trade) portions of this audiobook could have been outsourced to recording studios all across the globe. As Friedman notes in this lengthy but informative audio, new technologies, political paradigm shifts and, more importantly, innovative individuals at the helms of startups have leveled the playing field in the global economy. That this audio wasn't outsourced is fortunate for listeners, as Wyman is a veteran nonfiction narrator with an extensive background in voicing animation. Upon first listen, one cannot help thinking of the exuberant heroes of Saturday morning cartoons; once listeners grow accustomed to Wyman's youthful tenor, his professionalism and talent shine through. Though Wyman's voice doesn't have the professorial gravitas to match a journalistic work such as this, listeners should have no reservations about choosing this engrossing audio for long-distance travel or simply casual listening. Simultaneous release with the Farrar, Straus & Giroux hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 28). (Apr.)