February 27, 2007

Book Review: The World is Flat


I'm currently reading book called "The World is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century". I am early in the read. I am probably the last person on earth to read the book. It has been highly recommended by many colleagues for many years.

One of the early parts in the book is a list from him on the crucial developments that brought us to this place where we have over 55 million blogs and folks in India are doing tax returns for certified public accountants in America.

In his chapter, "Y2K to March 2004," he talks about a number of factors that serve to flatten the playing field between developed and developing countries. Which factor do you think is most important? The attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11 and the Iraq war? Or the convergence of technology and events that allowed India, China, and so many other countries to become part of the global supply chain for services and manufacturing, creating an explosion of wealth in the middle classes of the world's two biggest nations, giving them a huge new stake in the success of globalization?

The world is a different place than ever before. As a person of African descent in America I am struck bythe continuing need for my people to get busy. We truly need to run faster in order to stay in place. You have to wonder if the world got too small and too fast for human beings and their political systems to adjust in a stable manner?

Anyhow, I join with my colleagues in recommending this book by Thomas Friedman. He does a good job to demystify our global village. He is able to translate complex foreign policy and economic issues in a way that common folks (like me!) can understand. I am looking forward to finishing his book in the coming days.

I realize from my global widgets that there are many visitors to this blog from all over the world as well as many places here in the United States. Have you read this book? Do you have comments or thoughts on the book that you would like to share?

5 comments:

Jennifer said...

Ohhh this book has been on my list for some time now... If you recommend it then I must get it!

Thanks for the insight and inspiration!

Blessings and warmest wishes,

Jennifer

coach said...

No I haven't read it but will look out for it - have you read Bill Bryson's "A brief history of almost everything"? From what I can tell you might like it too.

Zack said...

This is a great book and a must read for business today. Many people misinterpret this book as doom and gloom, when in fact Friedman focuses on the opportunities provided by the new global economy, should the US take the necessary steps to seize them! I give some workshops about creativity and innovation, and these skills will become increasingly important differentiating factors in the new, flat world.

JibberJobber Guy said...

I thought I was the last person on earth to not read it - its still on my list :p

Jason Alba
CEO - JibberJobber.com

Villager said...

I'm almost finished with the book. I have to admit that he is right on the money with a number of the events that have served to "flatten" the world. I just finished the discussion about "informing" in which he notes that the advent of GOOGLE is something that has flattened the world. The ability for anyone with a computer and access to the Internet to have the knowledge of the world at their fingertips definitely flattens the world. He shared some interesting insights into Google that I simply didn't know before this week.

Anyhow, I concur with all that have recommended this book. For those of us in the blogosphere especially ... it is a good read.