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The world is flat : a brief history of the twenty-first century
Thomas L. Friedman
Adult Nonfiction HM846 .F74 2005

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From Publishers' Weekly:

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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

This book is having an intellectual impact much like 1982's Megatrends. By flat, thrice Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Friedman means leveled, connected, globalization 3.0 that began around the year 2000. Globalization 1.0 went from 1492 to 1800, roughly; globalization 2.0, from 1800 to 2000; then the bust, 9/11, the Enron collapse, and eventually the war in Iraq distracted us all, and we failed to see that a number of trends were coming together and flattening the world. The author says this is the triple convergence and calls it a fundamental and truly disruptive, Gutenberg printing press-like paradigm shift. Friedman offers myriad examples: Jet Blue airline using Salt Lake City homemakers to book its reservations; fast-food orders taken by operators far away and then processed electronically for rapid delivery at the local window, etc. He also suggests that companies should consider using supply chains as a conduit not only for value but values: environmental friendliness, decent wages and working conditions (or we won't contract with you), and so on. This exciting text is enhanced by the breathless performance of Oliver Wyman, whose young-sounding voice slides into subtle accents as needed and rushes in a well-paced manner through the blizzard. Appropriate for all public and academic library and business collections.--Don Wismer, Cary Memorial Lib., Wayne, ME (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

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