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

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  86,809 Ratings  ·  3,352 Reviews
The Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist gives a bold, timely, and surprising picture of the state of globalization in the twenty-first century
When scholars write the history of the world twenty years from now, and they come to the chapter “Y2K to March 2004,” what will theysay was the most crucial development? The attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11 and t
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Published April 5th 2005 by Macmillan Audio (first published January 1st 2005)
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Cristofer Mr. Peter, this book, by Thomas L. Friedman, is not about the Earth being physically flat, as in "we live in the back of a flying-throu-space turtle,"…moreMr. Peter, this book, by Thomas L. Friedman, is not about the Earth being physically flat, as in "we live in the back of a flying-throu-space turtle," but as in "you can literally do everything, from everywhere, natural barriers have dissapeared, and the playground has been flattened, giving everyone almost equal opportunities, but better watch out, it is not all good."

The author dedicates his first pages literally warning people on the fact that he does not mean that the Earth is flat on that sense, but on the fact that the playground is being levelled; he later on comments that, althou there has been flattening, the world is still not as flat as it could be.

Long story short: You should read the book. (less)
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Daniel
Jun 10, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fireplaces, doors that need stopping, houses without coasters, etc.
Shelves: non-fiction
I tried to plow through this book, but Thomas Friedman is the most brain-dead parrot of the ruling class I have ever known, so I couldn't finish it.

His view of globalization is that now, thanks to the paternalistic global order constructed by US multinational corporations, there is cultural and monetary things of worth out there in the vast unexplored jungles of savagery called "not the United States." As an ahistorical text that ignores the fact that elites have been trading from Occident to an
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Jim Fonseca
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
An oldie but a goodie; this non-fiction book was popular a few years ago (2005). I read it then and took notes. By “flat” he means super-interconnected through technology, communications, trade, etc. Some notes:

Ten forces that flattened the world:

Removal of the Berlin Wall, 1989
The world wide web starting with Netscape
Work flow software
The ability to upload (local goes global)
Outsourcing – you can run a million dollar business without a single employee
Offshoring – tech guys overseas
Supply chai
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Riku Sayuj

The World is Not Flat

Precis:

A big project was started in the post-war world to let countries grow and prosper and compete without using wars to do so. That was the project of globalization. A sub- or lead-project under that was the European Union. Friedman’s famous book was the recent victory cry for the Globalization Project, a chest-thumping if ever there was one!

However, any keen observer would by now have concluded that the project was riddled with flaws. But that is not to say that the vi
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Punk
Aug 22, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Non-Fiction. Friedman explains to us, over and over, how globalization has effectively turned the world into a very very small place -- I was okay with his metaphor of a flat world at first, but over time it started to irritate me. It's neither elegant nor practical. No matter how many virtual conference rooms you have, in a flat world it's still going to take forever to get material goods moved from China to the US, unlike our current round model; later he even starts to talk about how some par ...more
Saleh MoonWalker
Onvan : The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century - Nevisande : Thomas L. Friedman - ISBN : 374292795 - ISBN13 : 9780374292799 - Dar 616 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2005
Jason Koivu
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Fucking flat-earthers...Oh wait, that's not what he means? All right, maybe I'll read it."

That was me about five or so years ago when friends kept insisting I read The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman. Finally, when my wife recently bought tickets to a local Friedman talk, I resolved to read the damn thing.

I'm glad I did. It's really good. I'm not saying it's prefect (I'll get to that in a minute), but this is a must read at least for a certain few people with their heads in the clouds. For one
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Rick
Jan 13, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The first big mistake I made was deciding to buy the 2.0 edition of the book (updated and expanded). Redundancy is one of the book’s signature features so updating and expanding it only compounds the sins of this feature. My second big mistake was deciding to finish reading it after first running aground about half way through and taking a several month sabbatical to read more worthy books. All right I’m being testy. It wasn’t such a big mistake. Friedman is a smart guy but way too full of himse ...more
Matthew
Sep 08, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Detailed, thorough, and very informative. Friedman has a folksy style of journalism that brings complex business and social processes down to earth (though he also has an undue penchant for coining obnoxious phrases, like "glocalize" or "Islamo-Leninist"). Good for getting a grip on the major issues of globalization, including things that affect you every day and you probably know nothing about.

But you have to read between the lines. Friedman is openly supportive of globalization, and his presen
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Rachel
May 01, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who don't quite get "the internet," businesspeople
Shelves: non-fiction
Holy sh... this book went on and on. And on. The world is flat, oh yes! I see! But how flat is the world again, Mr. Friedman? Tell me once again, exactly how flat is it? Really flat? You don't say!

Maybe it's just me being a grad student for too long, but I prefer my nonfiction books to have a list of references. Perhaps a footnote or two. But this book is just a series of anecdotes with some jargon thrown in (Bangalore...curiosity quotient...flatteners...in-forming...Bangalore...compassionate fl
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JC
Sep 12, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I consider myself a bit of a tech-nerd. I love any new technology that is designed to enhance my life. I can't imagine life before my cell phone, my iPod, and my mac. I love flat-panel monitors, digital cameras and satellite radio. As such I considered myself pretty up on the latest technological advances. After reading this book, I realized that not only is technology affecting my life more than I was aware, but it is also changing the way the whole world interacts. This book explains (in layme ...more
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globalization 5 88 Dec 30, 2008 04:14AM  
too long, pretty unoriginal 3 106 Nov 02, 2008 04:01PM  
You can get this book for free this week 1 112 Jul 30, 2008 11:09AM  
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“The ideal country in a flat world is the one with no natural resources, because countries with no natural resources tend to dig inside themselves. They try to tap the energy, entrepreneurship, creativity, and intelligence of their own people-men and women-rather than drill an oil well.” 29 likes
“In China today, Bill Gates is Britney Spears. In America today, Britney Spears is Britney Spears-and that is our problem.” 27 likes
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