Friday, May 2, 2014

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century by Thomas L. Friedman

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First CenturyThe World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century by Thomas L. Friedman
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I think the basic tenets of the World Is Flat is a fairly accurate depiction of what has happened in the recent past. I don't think, however, that it represents the future well, both in terms of the predictions it hints at or the prescribed political remedies. Yes, technology is allowing new business relationships and processes that are changing the workplace and competitive landscape all at once. But to then take the observations about the affects of technology on business and society and to start trying to blame or fix potential problems for the US with politics is a step too far. It doesn't belong in this book. If he wants to make a political statement, write a book purely on politics, don't try to leverage your observations into a platform for selling your political agenda.

Also, while the basic ideas are valid, the book is not well written or edited. The topic could have been addressed in 200 pages or less, not 660. The sometimes wandering focus could have dialed in on a central conclusion or hypothesis. Don't read this book. Google it, read a synopsis (no more than 10 pages!) but stop reading if it starts getting political and you will have received most of the value.