The World Is Flat – A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century – first written by Tom Friedman of the New York Times in 2005. has already been updated and expanded! Amazing that that can be done, and so easily.
I’ve been immersed in Tom’s flat world pretty much ever since receiving it as one of my favorite birthday presents this year. He is one of my favorite writers ever – clear, concise, direct, simple, a good collector of and teller of stories, a great thinker with a panoramic view. His From Beirut to Jerusalem, written in 1989, should be re-read today as we watch video of the Israeli and Hezbollah conflict reducing Lebanon again to rubble.
The Lexus and the Olive Tree is a precursor to The World, and presents Tom’s first understandings of the incredible shift that humans, governments and businesses are in. Two books I’d like to see from him would be one about the environment and how we meet those needs as the world is flattening, and the other using his vast knowledge of the Arab / Muslim world to describe that landscape / humanscape for us.
His columns in the New York Times are not to be missed, and are the primary reason I subscribe to TimesSelect. I finally could not bear the stacks of unread Times stacking up, and the trees whose sacrifice was not being honored by at least reading them. So I subscribe to the online version, and can get my hit of Tom on Wednesdays and Fridays for an annual fee.
When The Lexus and the Olive Tree came out, I was so blown away that I wrote a 20 page paper about it for friends. That was 1999. Now, with The World Is Flat, I’ll be blogging it – one of the phenomena that is flattening the world and empowering all of us.