The World is Flat

     This national bestseller is billed as “a brief history of the twenty-first century”.  In reality, it’s much more specific than that.  New York Times columnist Friedman focuses this book on the world’s economic blossoming within the last two decades or so – the time when the world really became “flat”. 

      The premise of this book is how events and technology – especially the internet – have created a world where no walls exist any more.  People can collaborate on ideas and products just as easily hemispheres apart as if they were office cubicles apart.  America is taking advantage of this by outsourcing some jobs to lower-wage countries such as India (ever wonder why the help-line people always have accents?), but this also provides tremendous advantages and prospects to those in America who recognize what is going on.  Friedman breaks down this complex topic by describing the “ten forces that flattened the world”, the realities and effects of outsourcing and competition on our plateau, and what this really means for America’s future. 

      Friedman manages to write engagingly on an important topic that might otherwise be boring.  The book is a little disturbing simply because of the reality it presents: Americans have no guaranteed promise to be the top dog, and unless this generation of young people wakes up and applies themselves to school, learning, and getting ahead, we might be left behind.  Chinese and Indian young people, rising from oppression, are driven by a passion that is thoroughly foreign to most of the young people in America today.  I found the first chapter or so a little dense and hard to get through, but after that it was easier.  This is a very worthwhile book to read, with an important topic, and especially for my generation.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Christa Taylor  |  December 30, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Read and loved that book two years ago, now I just started his “From Beruit to Jerusalem”, another captivating read.

    Reply

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