Review: The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman | Books | The GuardianIn Christopher Columbus set sail for India, going west. He had the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. He never did find India, but he called the people he met "Indians" and came home and reported to his king and queen: "The world is round. I knew just which direction I was going. I went east.
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Why the World Is Flat
They do not mean to hurt us, but they do. A modern-day Greene could substitute the works of the real-life Thomas Friedman - a contemporary quiet American. Like Pyle, Friedman is "impregnably armed by his good intentions and his ignorance". In The World Is Flat Friedman has produced an epyllion to the glories of globalisation with only three flaws: the writing style is prolix, the author is monumentally self-obsessed, and its content has the depth of a puddle. Even the title of the book rests uneasily on a conceit. Friedman recounts meeting an Indian entrepreneur: "He said to me, 'Tom, the playing field is being levelled. My god, he's telling me the world is flat!
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Thomas Friedman credit: Hiroshi Nagai. Tied for second place after the opening round, Rodriguez eventually finished 27th, a few strokes ahead of such golf legends as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player. His caddy for the tournament was a year-old local named Tommy Friedman. Rodriguez retired from golf several years later. But his caddy - now known as Thomas L. Friedman, foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times and author of the new book The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century - has spent his career deploying the skills he used on the golf course: describing the terrain, shouting warnings and encouragement, and whispering in the ears of big players.
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It is now possible for more people than ever to collaborate and compete in real time with more people on more different kinds of work from more different corners of the planet and on a more equal footing than at any previous time in the history of the world. Phase one lasted until , when the world was run by states. Then, between and , phase two saw the rise of multinational corporations. The third phase of globalization, in place since the year and continuing into the foreseeable future, is distinguished by individuals seeking to take control of their economic destiny. That, in a nutshell, is the thesis of The World Is Flat , first published in