Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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"The World is Flat", Thomas Friedman

June 6th, 2009 · No Comments · Economics, Policy

world_is_flatSynopsis: Cheap, ubiquitous telecommunications have reshaped the globe into a ‘flat world’ in which individuals compete on an equal footing regardless of their geographical location.

My Take: Um, yeah Thomas – where have you been for the past 7 years??

A shallow  (excuse the pun)conceptual analysis stretched into a 500(!) page book. Friedman is sometimes an ok journalist and this book has some enjoyable and enlightening sections (such as the chapter on the Japanese speaking Chinese province of Dalian and the Japanese outsourcing economy that has sprung up there) but when he flicks the switch to theorist/philosopher/grand theorist he’s very very ordinary.

His conclusions are patently obvious and not in the good “Why hasn’t any one thought of that before” way but more in the “It took you 500 pages to say something a half decent journalist could say in a column?!” way. To make matters worse, the way he carries on about his grand idea as being some kind of revelation is really irritating. That being said, I picked this book up in the remainders bin of an English language bookshop in Chengdu for around A$1 so I can’t really complain.


“While the dynamic force of Globalisation 1.0 was countries globalising and the dynamic force in Globalisation 2.0 was companies globalising, the dynamic force in Globalisation 3.0 – the force that gives it its unique character – is the newfound power for individuals to collaborate and compete globally.”

Yep – I think this is a good, brief explanation. If only the rest of the book was as concise and lucid.

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