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Thomas Friedman

The World is Flat

With the adoption of new technology by countries such as China and India, the competitors for your job won't just be down the road - they may well live half way round the world. In The World is Flat: The Globalized World in the Twenty-first Century Thomas Friedman looks at how this change has taken place, and what you should do about it.

Friedman has visited a large number of businesses, in many parts of the world, and he tells of how partnerships are forming between companies in the West and new businesses in emerging economies. He also analysis the factors which are converging to bring about a new way of doing business around the world.

One thing I noticed when I started the book was that Friedman really seems to believe that Columbus discovered that the earth was round - it seems he has never heard of Eratosthenes. As the book went on I felt that there was more of the same pattern - he is trying to take the readers out of their comfort zone, just not too far. So there's a nod towards environmentalism, but not much thought about the large scale changes that global warming might bring. And his message seems to be that we in the West must all work harder, while I think that more and more people will reject the materialistic lifestyle which requires this. So, yes, you should read this book if you want to know about the present state of the world, but I don't think that it gives too much of an idea of it's possible future. .