Summary of The World is Flat

A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century

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The World is Flat book summary
All business used to be local; now it's global. What forces are flattening the global market and how do they affect you?


8 Overall

7 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


This overwhelming book succumbs to the very scope of its ambition and the topics it covers: globalization and technology. Author Thomas Friedman literally covers the world for The New York Times, and his access to important local authorities, corporate executives, local Times bureaus and researchers, the Internet and a tape recorder has enabled him to compile a huge amount of information. All of it buttresses his views about the important convergence of political and technological change. He offers interesting anecdotes about companies worldwide and intriguing conversations with friends, reporters and experts. But Friedman, well-spoken expert that he is, still needs an editor to tame his long chapters and repeated points. He conveys abundant knowledge, with incisive insights and interpretations, but skim where you must. With that caveat, getAbstract warmly recommends this wide-ranging treatment of technology’s role in global business and politics.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to identify the three eras of globalization
  • Which ten seminal events flattened the world
  • Which three forces impel modern globalization
  • How globalization has changed the workplace
  • How the political ramifications of a changing global economy are affecting modern society


The Three Eras of Globalization
Many people consider globalization a modern phenomenon, but this is its third stage. The first stage of global development, "Globalization 1.0," started with Columbus’s discovery of the New World and ran from 1492 to about 1800. Driven by nationalism...
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About the Author

Thomas L. Friedman has won the Pulitzer Prize three times for his reporting and foreign affairs column in The New York Times. He wrote three best sellers: The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Longitudes and Attitudes and From Beirut to Jerusalem, which won the National Book Award.

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