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The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century by Thomas L. Friedman is a wonderful look at the world. Here are a few titles, which you may enjoy, that deal with global business, the world, and its future.
“Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order” by Samuel P. Huntington
Huntington here extends the provocative thesis he laid out in a recent (and influential) Foreign Affairs essay: we should view the world not as bipolar, or as a collection of states, but as a set of seven or eight cultural "civilizations"?one in the West, several outside it?fated to link and conflict in terms of that civilizational identity. Thus, in sweeping but dry style, he makes several vital points: modernization does not mean Westernization; economic progress has come with a revival of religion; post-Cold War politics emphasize ethnic nationalism over ideology; the lack of leading "core states" hampers the growth of Latin America and the world of Islam. Most controversial will be Huntington's tough-minded view of Islam. Not only does he point out that Muslim countries are involved in far more intergroup violence than others, he argues that the West should worry not about Islamic fundamentalism but about Islam itself, "a different civilization whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power. From Publisher’s Weekly
“The Elephant and the Dragon: The Rise of India and China and What it Means for All of Us” by Robyn Meredith
Meredith, a foreign correspondent, describes the global power shift occurring in India and in China as computers continue to change the way business is conducted. The U.S. and Europe have lost both low- and high-paying jobs to these countries, and there are other factors at play, such as the unquenchable global thirst for oil and massive environmental issues. ]his is a complicated story because as jobs are lost, cheap goods are being imported and sold at low prices to American consumers, and some retailers' stock prices are rising, to the benefit of workers' 401K accounts. The author notes, "In this decade, a dear pattern emerged: China became factory to the world, the United States became buyer to the world, and India began to become back office to the world." In this thought-provoking and well-researched book, the author advises that the U.S. must strengthen its education system, promote innovation, forget about protectionism or unfettered free markets, and focus on creating jobs. From Booklist
“Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution—and How it Can Renew America” by Thomas L. Friedman
Proposes an ambitious national strategy to address key issues in climate change and energy shortages, identifying the factors that have contributed to current circumstances while outlining an American-led revolution of clean technology solutions. Library Catalog Description
“The Lexus and the Olive Tree” by Thomas L. Friedman
Friedman believes that with the end of the Cold War we are now in the era of the "international globalization system." He defines globalization as the integration of finance, stock markets, nations, and technology and explains its dependence on computers, the Interact, transaction speed, and innovation. Friedman catalogs the benefits and pitfalls of globalization in a text so clearly written and with so many examples that one easily forgets that this is a book about economics. He makes a compelling case that international economics is changing and that globalization is inevitable and calls for both the United States and global business to pursue responsible capitalism that would make globalization more effective and fair. From Library Journal
“Making Globalization Work” by Joseph E. Stiglitz
With this selection, the Nobel Prize-winning economist suggests a host of solutions by which globalization can be "saved from its advocates" and made safe and worthwhile for the poor and rich alike. Each chapter examines, in some depth, an obstacle to equitable globalization (the burden of massive national debt, for example) and provides a set of possible solutions (a return to countercyclical lending and development of international bankruptcy laws, for example). Many of Stiglitz's proposals echo the familiar litanies of developing nations in the Doha round of international trade talks, but several, such as those drawing upon East Asia's experiments in contained progress, are innovative enough to warrant books of their own. Fairly accessible for a work of macroeconomics, this is a worthy counterpoint to Thomas Friedman's popular The World Is Flat (2005). From Booklist
“The Post-American World” by Fareed Zakaria
According to Newsweek International editor Zakaria, the weekened global economic and political position of the United States results not from the waning of its own powers but from the rapid rise of many other global players. The optimistic tone of his previous book, The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad, permeates this work. After 500 years of world dominance and following the decline of great states in other parts of the world, the Western powers are seeing countries such as China and India emerge as new and formidable rivals. Zakaria is sharply critical of the current U.S. presidential administration, citing its dysfunctional political stalemate and foreign and military policies that hinder adaptation to the current realities. He argues that it is incumbent upon the Western powers to adapt if they want to thrive instead of trying to reverse these realities, and he remains optimistic that they can change, as they have historically shown themselves able to do so. From Library Journal