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In THE WORLD IS FLAT, the highly-regarded New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman advances the work on globalization that made his THE LEXUS AND THE OLIVE TREE a bestseller. Claiming that the world is now at an important historical point--as important as the changes brought by the discoveries by Columbus or by the Industrial Revolution--Friedman analyzes the events, inventions, and business practices that have resulted in a changed world, one he calls Globalization 3.0. In this "brave new world," the economic playing field has been leveled: whereas the economic prizes formerly went to rich and powerful western nations almost by default, all is now up for grabs, according to Friedman. Friedman identifies what he calls ten "flatteners" that, together, have brought about this new business environment. His investigations take him to India, where he learns about outsourcing and call centers; to China, where he learns about offshoring and supply chains; and to America, where he sees firsthand how Walmart functions and how UPS has broken new ground in working to support smaller companies. He explains difficult concepts, illustrates them through case studies, and brings everything together to support his main thesis that the world is "flat," or less of an obstacle course. He points out that this totally changed and charged global business environment, while it opens up markets worldwide, also poses threats to America. Whereas exuberant (and often youthful) entrepreneurial knowledge workers are finding new opportunity, so too are terrorist organizations such as al Qaeda, who are finding ways to exploit this new set of rules. Friedman discusses the profound political implications of globalization, including how the very notion of nationhood may be in question. He explains why he takes a sanguine view of practices such as outsourcing, while warning that America will be left behind unless it rises to the occasion, as it has in the past, and joins in the game. THE WORLD
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