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The World Is Flat A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century,9780374292881

The World Is Flat A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century

by ;
ISBN13:

9780374292881

ISBN10:
0374292884
Media:
Hardcover
Pub. Date:
4/5/2005
Publisher(s):
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
List Price: $27.50

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Summary

When scholars write the history of the world twenty years from now, and they come to the chapter "Y2K to March 2004," what will they say was the most crucial development? 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? And with this "flattening" of the globe, which requires us to run faster in order to stay in place, has the world gotten too small and too fast for human beings and their political systems to adjust in a stable manner? In this brilliant new book, the award-winningNew York Timescolumnist Thomas Friedman demystifies the brave new world for readers, allowing them to make sense of the often bewildering global scene unfolding before their eyes. With his inimitable ability to translate complex foreign policy and economic issues, Friedman explains how the flattening of the world happened at the dawn of the twenty-first century; what it means to countries, companies, communities, and individuals; and how governments and societies can, and must, adapt.The World Is Flatis the timely and essential update on globalization, its successes and discontents, powerfully illuminated by one of our most respected journalists. Thomas L. Friedmanhas won the Pulitzer Prize three times for his work atThe New York Times. He is the author of three best-selling books:From Beirut to Jerusalem, winner of the National Book Award for nonfiction and still considered to be the definitive work on the Middle East,The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization, andLongitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with his family. Winner of theFinancial Times/Goldman Sachs Book Award ANew York TimesNotable Book AChristian Science MonitorBest Bookof the Year AWashington PostBest Book of the Year AnEconomistBest Book of the Year When scholars write the history of the world twenty years from now, and they come to the chapter "Y2K to March 2004," what will they say was the most crucial development? 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? And with this "flattening" of the globe, which requires us to run faster in order to stay in place, has the world gotten too small and too fast for human beings and their political systems to adjust in a stable manner? In this brilliant new book, the award-winningNew York Timescolumnist Thomas Friedman demystifies the brave new world for readers, allowing them to make sense of the often bewildering global scene unfolding before their eyes. With his inimitable ability to translate complex foreign policy and economic issues, Friedman explains how the flattening of the world happened at the dawn of the twenty-first century; what it means to countries, companies, communities, and individuals; and how governments and societies can, and must, adapt.The World Is Flatis the timely and essential update on globalization, its successes and discontents, powerfully illuminated by one of our most respected journalists. "The World Is Flatcontinues the franchise Friedman h

Author Biography

Thomas L. Friedman has won the Pulitzer Prize three times for his work at The New York Times. He is the author of three best-selling books: From Beiruit to Jerusalem (FSG, 1989), winner of the National Book Award for nonfiction and still considered to be the definitive work on the Middle East, The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization (FSG, 1999), and Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11 (FSG, 2002). He lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with his family.

Table of Contents

How the World Became Flat
While I Was Sleeping
3(45)
The Ten Forces That Flattened the World
48(125)
Flattener #1. 11/9/89
Flattener #2. 8/9/95
Flattener #3. Work Flow Software
Flattener #4. Open-Sourcing
Flattener #5. Outsourcing
Flattener #6. Offshoring
Flattener #7. Supply-Chaining
Flattener #8. Insourcing
Flattener #9. In-forming
Flattener #10. The Steroids
The Triple Convergence
173(28)
The Great Sorting Out
201(24)
America and the Flat World
America and Free Trade
225(12)
The Untouchables
237(13)
The Quiet Crisis
250(26)
This Is Not a Test
276(33)
Developing Countries and the Flat World
The Virgin of Guadalupe
309(30)
Companies and the Flat World
How Companies Cope
339(32)
Geopolitics and the Flat World
The Unflat World
371(43)
The Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention
414(27)
Conclusion: Imagination
11/9 Versus 9/11
441(30)
Acknowledgments 471(4)
Index 475

Excerpts

Excerpt from The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas L. Friedman. To be published in April, 2005 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved.


ONE


While I Was Sleeping

Your Highnesses, as Catholic Christians, and princes who love and promote the holy Christian faith, and are enemies of the doctrine of Mahomet, and of all idolatry and heresy, determined to send me, Christopher Columbus, to the above-mentioned countries of India, to see the said princes, people, and territories, and to learn their disposition and the proper method of converting them to our holy faith; and furthermore directed that I should not proceed by land to the East, as is customary, but by a Westerly route, in which direction we have hitherto no certain evidence that anyone has gone.
—Entry from the journal of Christopher Columbus on his voyage of 1492



No one ever gave me directions like this on a golf course before: “Aim at either Microsoft or IBM.” I was standing on the first tee at the KGA Golf Club in downtown Bangalore, in southern India, when my playing partner pointed at two shiny glass-and-steel buildings off in the distance, just behind the first green. The Goldman Sachs building wasn’t done yet; otherwise he could have pointed that out as well and made it a threesome. HP and Texas Instruments had their offices on the back nine, along the tenth hole. That wasn’t all. The tee markers were from Epson, the printer company, and one of our caddies was wearing a hat from 3M. Outside, some of the traffic signs were also sponsored by Texas Instruments, and the Pizza Hut billboard on the way over showed a steaming pizza, under the headline “Gigabites of Taste!”

No, this definitely wasn’t Kansas. It didn’t even seem like India. Was this the New World, the Old World, or the Next World?

I had come to Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley, on my own Columbus-like journey of exploration. Columbus sailed with the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa María in an effort to discover a shorter, more direct route to India by heading west, across the Atlantic, on what he presumed to be an open sea route to the East Indies—rather than going south and east around Africa, as Portuguese explorers of his day were trying to do. India and the magical Spice Islands of the East were famed at the time for their gold, pearls, gems, and silk—a source of untold riches. Finding this shortcut by sea to India, at a time when the Muslim powers of the day had blocked the overland routes from Europe, was a way for both Columbus and the Spanish monarchy to become wealthy and powerful. When Columbus set sail, he apparently assumed the Earth was round, which was why he was convinced that he could get to India by going west. He miscalculated the distance, though. He thought the Earth was a smaller sphere than it is. He also did not anticipate running into a landmass before he reached the East Indies. Nevertheless, he called the aboriginal peoples he encountered in the new world “Indians.” Returning home, though, Columbus was able to tell his patrons, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, that although he never did find India, he could confirm that the world was indeed round.

I set out for India by going due east, via Frankfurt. I had Lufthansa business class. I knew exactly which direction I was going thanks to the GPS map displayed on the screen that popped out of the armrest of my airline seat. I landed safely and on schedule. I too encountered people called Indians. I too was searching for the source of India’s riches. Columbus was searching for hardware—precious metals, silk, and spices—the source of wealth in his day. I was searching for software, brainpower, complex algorithms, knowledge workers, call centers, transmission protocols, breakthroughs in optical engineering—the sources of wealth in our day. Columbus was happy to make the Indians her met his slaves, a pool of free manual labor.

I just wanted to understand why the Indians I met were taking our work, why they had become such an important pool for the outsourcing of service and information technology work from America and other industrialized countries. Columbus had more than one hundred men on his three ships; I had a small crew from the Discovery Times channel that fit comfortably into two banged-up vans, with Indian drivers who drove barefoot. When I set sail, so to speak, I too assumed that the world was round, but what I encountered in the real India profoundly shook my faith in that notion. Columbus accidentally ran into America but thought he had discovered part of India. I actually found India and thought many of the people I met there were Americans. Some had actually taken American names, and others were doing great imitations of American accents at call centers and American business techniques at software labs.

Columbus reported to his king and queen that the world was round, and he went down in history as the man who first made this discovery. I returned home and shared my discovery only with my wife, and only in a whisper.

“Honey,” I confided, “I think the world is flat.”

Excerpted from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century by Thomas L. Friedman
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.


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