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The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century

The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century

Written by Thomas L. Friedman

Narrated by Oliver Wyman


The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century

Written by Thomas L. Friedman

Narrated by Oliver Wyman

ratings:
4/5 (128 ratings)
Length:
9 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Jul 24, 2007
ISBN:
9781427201782
Format:
Audiobook

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An essential read on globalization, its opportunities for individual empowerment, its achievements at lifting millions out of poverty, and its drawbacks from Pulitzer Prize–winner Thomas L. Friedman.

Description

When scholars write the history of the world twenty years from now, what will they say was the most crucial development in the first few years of the twenty-first century? The attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11 and the Iraq war? Or the convergence of technology and events that allowed India, China, and so many other countries to become part of the global supply chain for services and manufacturing, creating an explosion of wealth in the middle classes of the world's two biggest nations? And with this "flattening" of the globe, has the world gotten too small and too fast for human beings and their political systems to adjust in a stable manner?

Publisher:
Released:
Jul 24, 2007
ISBN:
9781427201782
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

EbookSnapshot

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What people think about The World Is Flat 3.0

3.8
128 ratings / 91 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Political must read for anybody with an interest in current affairs.Puts politics, technology and social developments into perspective showing ways out of the decline of America.
  • (4/5)
    This was a really great book. I think that Friedman did a great job of talking about the facts of the global society and the effects that has on many aspects of our lives. It is here to stay, best to understand it and work within the realities of it.
  • (4/5)
    This book has a hurried feel to it as though Friedman has mashed together a pile of notebooks. It's over long and the breathless style gets tiresome (I had to force myself to finish it) but he's interviewed a great selection of people, Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Paul Romer etc. etc. and produced a useful book about the outsourcing of products and services.10 years ago I wasn't playing around with ADSL, Google, Skype or instant messaging but they're here now and he explains the explosion of "third world" development based on fibre optics and the internet world information platform.The book was written in 2005 and the situation has partly changed now due to the credit / oil / food price crisis. India and China are struggling with 11% inflation which I suppose they have to pass on to American and European retailers. He did anticipate that Asian demand would drive up the price of oil.
  • (4/5)
    This book was originally published in 2005 and updated in 2007. I read the 2007 edition. I know it is not a newly published work, but reading it now gives the reader a look back at the 'good old days' before the Great Recession. This book is a discussion of globalization and how it has changed life in the twenty-first century. A lot has changed in the three years since this book was published. Sometimes it is hard to remember what it was like back in the good old days.When I began to read this book (which was more than six months ago- I've been very busy with school), it seemed as if Friedman was a crazy cheerleader for globalization and classical economics. But, the more I read the more it seems like he was a crazy optimist for globalization and what it could do for humanity if it was done with some sort of ethical tone to it. I agree with some of his ideas and disagree with others but overall this is a good book to read if for nothing more than a history lesson of just how fantastic and rosy things seemed before the economy collapsed in 2007. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but he completely leaves out any mention of the economic boom being fueled by the real estate bubble. Were we really so blind back then?One especially glaring example of this is Friedman's characterization of Ireland as the economy that was doing everything right. They did do some things right like investing in the education of their people, but the growth was based on the ethereal real estate and derivatives market. Ireland was at the top of the world and now they are worse off than they were before they started their amazing race to the top. I'm sure there are similar examples of this same type of thing from the 1920s before the Great Depression.Friedman does, however, have some great ideas about educational reform. Sadly though, these ideas are not really new. I just finished another book, Teaching as a Subversive Activity, that had many of the same ideas and it was published in 1969 (Review to come...). These ideas seem so simple but have been very difficult to implement (teach innovation and critical thinking, allow imagination to flourish). But, that's another soap box for another review.Overall, this is a really interesting read that I would have finished much sooner if not for those darn books I had to read for classes. I would recommend it to everyone because much of what he discusses will affect the reader (if it hasn't already) in this new, flat world.A definite recommend.
  • (4/5)
    I read this for my Public Library Seminar class and I found it very interesting and informative. The author argues persuasively that globalization has been a good thing, which was thought-provoking even if I'm not totally sure I agree with the argument.
  • (4/5)
    I've read all the other reviews, and there is obviously a debate over Friedman's writing style, knowledge base and philosophy. So, let me declare myself upfront: I am a Thomas Friedman fan.I read "The Lexus and the Olive Tree" and though finally! Someone has explained globalization and its impacts on individual communities and people. Having graduated from University and begun working in the mid-1980s, "globalization" quickly became a cliche -- something all my older colleagues said, but were unable to explain what it meant for us and our work in any detail. Friedman did this.In my view, he has done it again in "The World is Flat". Yes, the book could be shorter. Friedman's conversational style is, I think, mostly a good thing. But as in many conversations, there is a repetition and some rambling. Like my family, Friedman does repeat the same story from time to time. But the style also makes complex global challenges and opportunities easy to understand and relevant to my life and work.I agree with those who've expressed disappointment that Friedman doesn't cite his sources more fully. I agree that his thesis could have been expressed and fully illustrated in half as many pages. I still like the book. It's accessible and thought-provoking. It certainly evoked "more dreams than memories".
  • (5/5)
    An amazing overview of the past 20 years and the future of what is to come in the ever changing global economy. An amazing insight for me into education and the need to educate for the future.
  • (4/5)
    I wish there were half stars, because this book is between really amazing and I really liked it. It is a very long book, filled with so much I forget what came before each revelation. Reading the book after the events described gave me an interesting viewpoint on the changes in the world I live in. So many changes and they are still happening. Some of the things the author hoped would happen socially and politically have not yet come to pass, but they might. They would improve the future, but I feel too much pushback from the fearful, who see these changes as diminishing their influence and power.
  • (3/5)
    I cannot figure out why this book is so popular. It brings vivid insight but nothing extraordinary. If anything, Friedman lacks an instinctive will to call any thought his own; for a journalist, reporting the quotes of others is acceptable and encouraged. For an author, 635 pages of that is nonsense. Like Mario Livio in "The Golden Ratio," Friedman makes special note of who his friends are (and it seems he has an awful lot of them), so I question what his true motives were in writing the book. The terminology was jargon, and he seemed rather fatalistic. Still, there was something very appealing about this book, and it certainly was in the upper half of authorship.
  • (2/5)
    An important topic, however, I think Friedman is a little bit reactionist in his views.
  • (5/5)
    Excellent! An incredible perspective on a changing world that any one can appreciate regardless of background. I found his view points honest and useful. I can't help but walk away excited (a little cautious too) about the future. I hope our candidates for public office have had a chance to read.
  • (3/5)
    The size of this book my be intimidating to some, but it's well worth plowing through the almost 500 pages. Don't give up with the slow start. When Friedman explains the historical events and periods that have impacted globization, you'll be enlightened and glad that you kept reading. The World really is being flattened by technological advances and communication.
  • (4/5)
    Interesting and informative, but good heavens, 20 cds take far too long to listen to. This is the first work of Friedman's that I've "read" and was quite impressed. He makes some very salient points (India/China are NOT racing us to the bottom and 31% of Wal-Mart employees receive state assistance in Georgia). I also appreciate his 11/9 v. 9/11 dichotomy and their respective effects on the flattening of the world, and the resulant "unflattening" that may be in process.
  • (5/5)
    Listening to this book was like a great NPR show. I get it.
  • (4/5)
    Firstly a health warning - it's a REALLY long book. Even skimming some sections it took me a long while to read it. Overall it is a good if somewhat long winded read. As someone working in technology I found it a little patronizing in places but that could just be a function of its target audience not working day to day with some of the technologies he's discussing.The book lays out a series of trends and technologies that have, in his phrase, flattened the world by making it more interconnected than ever before. He goes on to discuss how this fits with globalization, how companies are reinventing themselves in the face of these changes, some of the problems and risks and what kinds of political and public policy impacts it might all have.If you are a patient reader this is a good introduction and discussion of the issues facing business and government in the Internet era. If you are not, you might want to find something shorter.
  • (4/5)
    The book was rather on the tedious side on the whole, and its views on globalization and its impact on the US job market is much too rosy to be realistic. Friedman assumes that everyone has the resources and education to forge a career that would not be impacted by globalization, which just proves that he lacks in perspective beyond the executives he knows and interviews.
  • (3/5)
    Good points, just could have all been made with about half the length Thomas Friedman makes them in.
  • (4/5)
    Drive-By Review

    Accurate picture of how the global economy is evolving, and how our skills are going to need to change to keep up.
  • (5/5)
    Really thoughtful examination of how the Internet and other technologies have leveled the playing field and made the USA less of an economic superpower.
  • (5/5)
    An excellent reality check for the present and an interesting perspective on the future. All educators should read this book, to better serve your students.
  • (4/5)
    Young adults/teens with hopes and dreams should read this and create a career to avoid the pitfalls of outsourcing. Sadly, most will not.
  • (4/5)
    The book may be a little alarmist, but if you read this and don't think of a few business ideas in the process I'd be shocked. That's gotta make it worth 30 bucks.
  • (2/5)
    Friedman fails to provide an accurate picture of globalization. He relies on only his corporate CEO buddies to give him info and completely disregards many factors affecting globalization today. His solutions, although mostly shallow, are always that the government needs to intervene more. It seems he does not understand that most of the problems of globalization are CAUSED by government interference in the free market.An interesting counterpoint to this book is 'The World is Flat?' by Ronald Aronica. While Aronica also displays a lack of understanding about many of the issues, he does highlight some of the major flaws in Friedman's book.
  • (4/5)
    I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't this. This was a fascinating look at how the world is shrinking in on itself as industry improves, standardizes, and becomes interconnected. Pretty interesting.
  • (5/5)
    This book should be a must read for those in High School and above. Even though written nine years ago much of it holds true today and is even like read a prophecy of the future. The book is very insightful about what is going on today throughout the world. This book also explains why there are issues in the Middle East, outsourcing, and how India and China are way ahead of the United States. Really eye opening reading.
  • (5/5)
    Significant book -- it will need updating every six months! You learn a lot from this book, but Friedman may be a little overly sanguine about globalization.
  • (5/5)
    Outstanding. Anyone who plans to have a job in the next 50 years should read this book.
  • (2/5)
    An interesting read; well written and strongly argued, but a bit too business focused for my liking. I found the first half of the book, Friedman's historical account of how the world had come to be flat, to be the most interesting aspect of his work. The latter part, how the flattening effects business and what they need to do to adapt, I found to boring. It is worth reading, however, for the historical account of the flattening effect.
  • (2/5)
    The best thing I can say is: the author's arrogance shines through the book. I suppose you have to stand out from the crowd if you want to be noticed.
  • (5/5)
    I thought this book to be both thoughtful and thought-provoking, with many valuable and accurate assessments of the world in the 21st century