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Longitudes and Attitudes: The World in the Age of Terrorism

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  1,951 Ratings  ·  137 Reviews
From the Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times columnist and bestselling author of From Beirut to Jerusalem and The Lexus and the Olive Tree comes this smart, penetrating, brilliantly informed book that is indispensable for understanding today’s radically new world and America’s complex place in it.

Thomas L. Freidman received his third Pulitzer Prize in 2002 “for his clari
Paperback, 416 pages
Published August 12th 2003 by Anchor (first published 2002)
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K.D. Absolutely
Dec 11, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it it was ok
Shelves: pulitzer, non-fiction
This book won Thomas L. Friedman (born 1953) his third Pulitzer Award for Commentary in 2002 “for his clarity of vision, based on extensive reporting, in commenting on the worldwide impact of the terrorist threat.” That was his 3rd Pulitzer. Three years later he was elected to be a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board.

This is the third book (first was The Lexus and the Olive Tree in 1991 and The World is Flat in 2005) by Friedman that I bought. But this is the first time that I finished reading hi
Oct 17, 2011 Caley rated it it was ok
I tried really hard to finish this and just couldn't. Friedman's world "philosophy" is restricting and reductionist. He's a convincing writer, but doesn't make the effort to address fault-lines in his perfectly square little analogies and anecdotes. Like this gem that goes something along the lines of "India is a democratic country despite a large Muslim population, therefore traditional Middle Eastern countries must adapt NOW." He's also really adroit at setting up a pretty clear West vs the Re ...more
Mar 05, 2008 Phil rated it liked it
This book follows Friedman's editorials from 2001-2003ish. It is interesting to watch a juggernaut of mideast intelligencia navigate the turmoil of sept 11, invasion of Iraq and violence in Isreal. From meetings with Saudi princes to sharing flights with powerful senators, Friedman weaves a cohesive story from our most confusing times.
I had the distinct pleasure of being able to hear Friedman, the foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times, speak at the World Affairs Council in Dallas last Fall. An intelligent and eloquent speaker, Friedman was there to promote his new(est) book, Hot, Flat & Crowded, and discuss how America needs to undergo a green revolution. My mom had read The World is Flat when it first came out, but Longitudes & Attitudes was the only book available on PaperBackSwap and I figured I should r ...more
Mar 11, 2008 Sumeyya rated it did not like it
Shelves: history
Friedman is a talented writer, but extremely one sided. He does a good job trying to convince us that we, as readers, can fully understand difficult issues such as the causes of terrorism, the roles of madrassahs in the Afghan region, and the over-blown burqa... while ignoring the fact that all these issues cannot possibly be understood without considering the many different cultural and religious contexts surrounding them! There were some good articles, but literally SOME. As in maybe one or tw ...more
Jun 17, 2015 Jack rated it really liked it

Published in 2002, this volume of columns by Thomas Friedman from before and after the September 11th attacks might be no more than an exercise in the unnerving clarity of hindsight appended by some excellent foreign policy advice and observations. In this regard alone, Longitudes and Attitudes is a captivating piece; Friedman, of course, is an exceptional writer, and his experience with Middle Eastern affairs is unmatched.

Now, more than ten years after the publishing of this book, readers of

Krishna Kumar
May 04, 2015 Krishna Kumar rated it liked it
This contains a series of New York Times articles written by Tom Friedman on the Middle East and the Arab/Muslim World before and after 9/11. It ends with a commentary on the problems that contribute to the negative attitudes towards the United States. It contains discussions with leaders and ordinary people through the Muslim world. The author believes that only internal political reform within these countries would help combat the menace of terrorism. While the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is ...more
Sep 14, 2009 Riah rated it liked it
I thought this book had some good points, and some terrible ones as well. Overall, the writing was intriguing, and to watch the perspective shift over time was priceless. At times I enjoyed what Friedman had to say, and at other times was bothered at what seemed to be oversimplification of some very deep-seeded issues.
It may seem strange to be reading a 383 page book published in 2002 in 2014. But in some ways it is more interesting with the passage of some time. And much of the book is not date-related but related to the author's views on America and world and his political views.

Friedman is a New York Times Foreign Affiars Columnist. He says he has the best job in the world, with unrestricted freedom to travel wherever and whenever in the world he chooses and with an unrestricted budget.

The central focus of
Jeni Enjaian
I'm not sure where to start with this book, if a compilation counts as a book. When I first started reading, I did not know that it was a series of essays aka opinion. I expected something a bit more coherent. (Some of the tracks may have been out of order which would have contributed.
It was interesting to listen to "current" opinion on highly controversial topics even if I didn't agree with some of them.
Some other negative things include the narrators horrible affected accents and the author
Jun 30, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it
This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for a couple of years. I was going on a very long airplane ride and the night before I had nothing to read. I grabbed this off the bookshelf and I could not put it down. I love books that explore alternate explanations and theories. Thomas Friedman is so insightful. Many times in this book I thought to myself "I never thought of that before" Great read on geopolitical events. I would love to see the book updated. I wish I had this book during my geopoli ...more
Andrew Crouch
Mar 07, 2012 Andrew Crouch rated it liked it
Reading this book in 2012, more than ten years after the events that constitute the bulk of its subject matter, I was aware that for myself the intensity of the anger and frustration sparked by 9/11 had dulled somewhat, the sharp glint of necessity to stamp out the perpetrators and confront the religious zealousness that had motivated them had been reshuffled backwards in our list of priorities as a nation and culture. However, it was not hard to recall how powerful those emotions were, and how ...more
Mr. Keatley
Dec 11, 2008 Mr. Keatley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of the Pulitzer Prize winning columns that Friedman wrote for the New York Times reflecting both on the factors that went into the events of September 11 and the world that it created. Like all of his work, these essays are marked by phenomenal insight and enormous intelligence. Most of these are available on Friedman's own website, but they are definitely worth owning in a bound volume. Over the years, I have found myself going back to his FROM BEIRUT TO JERUSALEM over and ...more
Jun 20, 2011 Patrick rated it it was amazing
I agree with 95% of what is written here. In fact a lot of what he has written, I intuitively thought about when I was daydreaming during medical school about the same time he wrote it.

This is a collection of Friedman's articles from September 11 era. What strikes about the articles is Friedman places September 11 in context with supports and strengthen terrorism, namely the effects of globalization instead of the tunnel vision us vs. them mentality. I agree with his assessment that in order to
First off I think that Friedman's earlier book From Beirut to Jerusalem is brilliant and one of the best books on modern Middle East events. That being said, this is not that book.

Friedman has some interesting ideas about examining the causes of 9/11. He especially has some insightful points about the cycle of undemocratic authoritarian regimes which often attempt to coopt religion and use it to control the population can help create the anger and frustration fuel support for Al Qaeda.

The prob
Stephen Gallup
Sep 09, 2009 Stephen Gallup rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book shortly after it was published, with a preconception of what the author's politics might be, and thus an expectation that I would be repelled. However, he muted that part and my recollection is that he maintained a bland, rational tone. As I think Time and Newsweek do in covering American politics, he made his subject sound like something that yields up its essence to a measured, textbook-style treatment, and made disturbing content seem perhaps not so outrageous after all. I ca ...more
Feb 27, 2008 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually never read this book, but its essentially a compression of all of Friedman's post September 11th columns which I did read religiously.

Friedman's status as a NYT editorialist and a popular "expert" on globalization and middle eastern culture and conflict has made him a bit of a divisive figure. Policy wonks and partisans hate him because they feel he oversimplifies the subjects he writes about, and his opinions are always tamped by his need to restate both sides of the story. A common
Jul 13, 2011 Joan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a collection of Friedman's columns from the NY Times that were published several months before and after 11 Sept 2001 as well as a collection of diary and essays written around the same time. Mr. Friedman's long history of covering the Middle East, his remarkable access to leaders and commoners throughout the region as well as his interest in what they all have to say makes this a remarkable book. As I was listening to the book, I was reminded again of a book by Sandra Day O'Connor ...more
Aug 16, 2012 Electriczen rated it it was amazing
One only has to look at the current crop of thugs occupying the White House to know that being the brightest and the best is not a criteria for holding office in the Bush administration. Nor, in this election year, does it appear to be a criteria for running for the highest office in the United States. I am old enough, however, to remember when administrations sought out those who were experts in their field and brought them into positions to formulate public policy or, at the least, sought thei ...more
Jan 24, 2009 Aichi rated it really liked it
So far - loved the format of this book, a collection of articles that all link together - now I want to read From Beirut to Jerusalem...and his newest book. Friedman, I'm coming for you!

Most memorable part of the book - just imagining how Muslims treat women. One view would be "omg, how horrible, how could you do that, I am going to come change your culture"

But on the other hand, isn't that kind of ridiculous? A culture may seem nonsensical to some, but sometimes people love their culture. "Dads
Aug 25, 2009 John rated it liked it
It's interesting to read this book now, because so much has changed from when he wrote it that a lot of it just makes you shake your head. He does have a great grasp of the world in 2001, and he wrote some really compelling columns around that time, and it's kinda amazing that he would travel around Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and even Afghanistan right when all this 9/11 stuff was happening and Daniel Pearl was getting killed and we were starting this war on terror. But there are also lots of mom ...more
Mar 14, 2011 Mark rated it liked it
Basically, this is a look back at Sept 11th and its aftermath through the columns of New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman. His insights into (and experience with) the Arabic world are significant and in hindsight very accurate. Only when he lapses into occassional speeches on global warming& the Kyoto treaty, & our need to immediately abandon fossil fuels does he begin to sound like an idiot (Whining about how Americans use up "more than our fair share of energy resou ...more
Michael Funck
Jan 21, 2016 Michael Funck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is essentially a compilation of Mr. Friedman's NY Times columns from just before and after 9/11. Almost 10 years have passed since then but the perspectives he shared regarding America, Islam, and the people of the Middle East still resonate and are worth reading. Where are we now? I just hope that the death of bin Laden will cause people to reflect on all aspects of the world after 9/11 and not just on closure regarding bin Laden.
Dec 26, 2008 David rated it really liked it
Subtitled "The World in the Age of Terrorism." Thomas Friedman is a respected newspaper editorialist and author. This book compiles his New York Times columns written in the two years following the 9/11/01 attacks. It's interesting to read and remember the emotional reactions we all felt, and to see Friedman's broad-based international perspective and insightful analysis. It's also fascinating to see how perceptions and analysis changed as the weeks and months passed.

A second segment is Friedman
Aug 18, 2007 Jet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Republicans
As much as I did enjoy this book, I hold my reservations as to whether I would recommend it to anyone. Friedman is a fantastic column writer, with a nose for short pithy sentences that are at once no-nonsense and emotive. This book is an easy read and is captivating enough for me to read the book while jostling in the midst of morning rush-hour traffic. However, although I have enjoyed both the contents and the style in this particular book, I am uncomfortable with the message - especially in th ...more
Oct 27, 2010 April rated it liked it
This is a collection of Friedman's articles focused on the middle east and 911. I found it compelling for awhile, sometimes too repetitive when taken as a whole, and then got a little bored with it to be honest, before the final section that is his personal journal and reflections that coincide with the articles. That part was fascinating and brought me right back in so by the end of the book I really enjoyed it and found the repetition actually helpful. Like taking a class. This was an easy way ...more
Jul 31, 2007 Scott rated it it was amazing
As one of the world's most renown foreign affairs journalists, Friedman enjoys a keen, insightful perspective of the disorderly, chaotic and dangerous world we live in, a messy world that became so abruptly apparent after the events of 9/11. An invaluable and expository compilation of articles - experiences, travels, and conversations composed in a reasonable, lucid text and providing the reader one of the most thought provoking and perceptive analysis of our world today in the age of terrorism, ...more
Nov 05, 2008 Darrick rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, 2008
Mmm, good reading. This book of Tom Friedman's NYT columns really gets at the issues that Muslims are having in the Middle East both with their internal struggles, and external struggles (namely the US, and Israel). I wish it would have focused a bit more on the US issues but instead Friedman glossed over them with a "... and the US has issues itself" line.

Another thing that I found very interesting with this book is that after 9/11 and before we went into Iraq Friedman's columns were all about
Terry Tracz
Aug 23, 2016 Terry Tracz rated it really liked it
Thomas Friedman already had decades of experience as a columnist reporting from the Middle East at the time of 9/11. His analysis of the cause and proliferation of the ideas that spurned this tragedy are spot on. We all - all countries, all races, all religions - have a lot to learn if we are ever to achieve peace in this world.
Christine Somers
Mar 20, 2015 Christine Somers rated it really liked it
As part of my New Year's resolutions, I committed to reading all the books I had started but failed to finish reading. Thomas L. Friedman's book Longitudes and Attitudes: The World in the Age of Terrorism is a book I started not long after it came out in 2002 and put down after the first 50 pages. The book is a compilation of his New York Times op-ed pieces that came out right before, during and after the 9/11 attack. Friedman's comments and the comments of the Arab world were difficult to read ...more
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Thomas Lauren Friedman is an American journalist. He is an op-ed contributor to The New York Times, whose column appears twice weekly and mainly addresses topics on foreign affairs. Friedman is known for supporting a compromise resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, modernization of the Arab world, environmentalism and globalization. He is considered to be a pluralist and most of his comm ...more
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