>  How to Get Reviewed >  How to Use Reviews >  Why Is It Free? open book
>  Where We Publish Reviews >  What We Review – and Don't >  Review Request Form
>  About Us >  Review Board >  Contact Us    > FAQ
Notable Book Reviews    
A Free Service for Publishers and Authors.    
www.NotableBookReviews.com    
book image Politics
The World Is Flat:   A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century
By Thomas L. Friedman
496 pp.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux. US$27.50
ISBN-10: 0374292884 / ISBN-13: 9780374292881

It's been a long time since anyone thought the world was flat. So, why is New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman saying it is?

In his excellent book, The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, Friedman uses the concept of a "flat world" to explain the changes and transformations that are occurring as part of the globalization process. The flattening of the world describes the removal of individual and national barriers to markets and financial opportunities. Twenty years ago, knowledge-based work was usually confined by geography. If you were ambitious and talented in a place with few opportunities, you had to leave to find work that suited you. Today, you can stay put in India and prepare tax returns for Americans. You can sit on your couch in Skidmore, Missouri and take drive-through hamburger orders for a fast-food joint in Montgomery, Alabama. You can sit at your desk in your office over the garage and take plane reservations for airlines.

A good portion of The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century is devoted to well-developed explanations about the technological forces behind this new age of flat. Friedman explains that during the brief era of the big dot-coms, companies used the millions of invested dollars to build a global telecommunications infrastructure. Although they were not able to make their ventures profitable, they did succeed in wiring the globe with fiber optic and mass telecommunications capability. Then, when the economy started taking hits after the dot-com bubble burst, companies needed to cut costs to survive. They looked around and found an eager workforce in Asia with the skills and desire to take on outsourced work for a lower wage than is paid to Americans.

Technology has globalized opportunity on the individual and national levels. Any work that can be digitized can be done just about anywhere. Ultimately, in Friedman's assessment, this is a positive trend. He spends a good portion discussing the impact of the world-flattening trend on Americans and their prospects. Perhaps too idealistic, he lays out a plan where Americans learn to do work that is still valuable in this paradigm, thereby positioning themselves higher on the hierarchy of value of labor.

Thomas L. Friedman is a renowned journalist and author. He has been with The New York Times since 1981. As the winner of three Pulitzer Prizes, he has reported extensively on international and domestic political and economic issues. His foreign affairs column is distributed to 700 newspapers worldwide.

Sylvia Breau, for Notable Book Reviews
Notable Book Reviews received one or more copies of this book in exchange for this review.
Reviews
How to Get Reviewed | How to Use Reviews | Why Is It Free?
Where We Publish Reviews | What We Review - and Don't | Review Request Form
About Us | Review Board | Contact Us | FAQ | Privacy Notice


Copyright Notable Book Reviews