HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding…
Loading...

The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization (1999)

by Thomas L. Friedman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,415122,572 (3.57)14
None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 14 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
I accidentally shoplifted this book from Housing Works Used Book Cafe, oops.

Considering how of-the-moment it was in say 1999, I'm not sure how well it's aged. Needs another read. ( )
  amelish | Sep 12, 2013 |
Babble. [personal note: I started to read this because I think it would help me talk to Dennis, and finished it because it is an important & common viewpoint.] It is a hard book to take seriously. I don't know that it is particularly wrong but the tone is so gosh-y and gush-y. He makes up terms and phrases for everything...the turtles...the gazelles...Capitalism 6.0.... He repeats the received wisdom about the victory of Capitalism and he loves the US of A in all its wonder. He is a "liberal" and wants some kinds of welfare services while sneering at the French. He has some idea that the US can provide basic human services but stay viable and competitive, because the U.S. has such great experience at the rule of law and the primacy of ethics. 10 years adds a lot of detail to the story of the U.S. in this era. One thing the book does is highlight to the reader what devastation to the US system has been wrought over these past 10 years, even when it seemed like Reagan had done it all. And why the business world, or at least the business education world, is so hot on ethics; if (that) the US has lost its ethical standing it has lost a lot. Some of what I dislike about this book is the journalistic writing, it seems to lack much humanity. I don't know, TMQ was going on recently about the rise in the standard of living around the world and that this is the best of times for the most people...and I am certainly not a person who wishes to cling to a time when things are only better for US workers. I just wonder if this is the worst of times for the most people as well, and how those things can be balanced. But I stick with my understanding that Capitalism won't stay stable and the crashes will get crazier.
  franoscar | Jan 2, 2011 |
"Globalization" might be the mother of all buzzwords, a catch-all explanation for anything that's happened in the last thirty or so years that's grown nearly meaningless from overuse. In "The Lexus and the Olive Tree," Thomas Freidman does a pretty good job of framing this pheonomenon in a social, historical, and economic context that the average reader can relate to. Freidman obviously thinks of himself as something of a Rennaisance man, a polymath of the old school, and in a sense, this is where the strengths of his book lie. His generalist approach and strong grasp of Cold War-era politics serve him very well when he explains why globalization is the inevitable result of a post-Soviet, unipolar world. He also deserves some credit for mentioning, if not fully exploring, the various downsides to a globalized world. He acknowledges that globalization has its victims and that some people's misgivings about it are probably well-founded. He's still a booster, of course, and, perhaps because he's a newspaper columnist, can't help but try to make a case every time he sets pen to paper, but he's more aware of his argument's weaknesses than many free-traders out there.

My objections to "The Lexus and the Olive Tree" are due, perhaps, to the tempremental differences between myself and Mr. Freidman. Freidman, a midwesterner, seems to be a born optimist, something my Yankee constitution just can't abide. As a lefty, I'm much more likely to see unbridled capitalism's downsides than its promieses, and while Freidman moved me to reconsider some of my positions, I don't know if he's convinced me. His enthusiasm for technology hasn't aged well, either, considering that "Lexus" was written ten years ago and the internet has since been done to death in about a trillion uninspired trend pieces. The Friedman of the late nineties would doubtless be disappointed to know that these days it's used mostly as a conduit for pictures of cute cats and scads of hardcore pornography. Friedman's America-centric, which I can forgive, and an inveterate name-dropper, which is somewhat less forgivable. What really worries me, though, is that even though Friedman's a tolerable writer with a clear, friendly tone, he's awful at coining phrases and drawing visual comparisons in his arguments, even though it's clear that he very much enjoys doing both of these things. George Orwell would argue that this is a sign of a disordered mind or a lousy argument. I am betting that Freidman's just a writer whose arguments are better than his metaphors. "The Lexus and the Olive Tree" is, despite its faults, recommended to those who want to know what to say the next time the G-word comes up in conversation. ( )
  TheAmpersand | Sep 5, 2010 |
Friedman does take the "big picture" of globalization and brings it down to the small conclaves of Africa and other lower levels of the economic system. Perhaps this is most interesting as a book for periodic rereading to trace how globalization is proceeding and Friedman admits it is not standing still. Writing the month of the World Cup in South Africa it is instructive to check out his personal experience in India when a former shoe shine boy in 1998 has 27 channels from 6 different countries illegally accessed at his house (where his wife is learning English from the TV). Friedman, himself a part of the information business, focuses on the democratization of information, not just the spread of goods and capital. In the last 12 years how information exchange has exploded with more to come. ( )
  carterchristian1 | Jul 10, 2010 |
I included this book in my book: The 100 Best Business Books of All Time. www.100bestbiz.com. ( )
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  toddsattersten | May 8, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
In many ways, this book is fundamentally about Friedman's own journey in trying to understand the world that has changed so radically in the past decade. Indeed, much of the charm and attraction of this book is that it parallels our own journeys of discovery. His experiences we recognize. His stories we have told. His anecdotes we have heard. His awe we share.
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385499345, Paperback)

One day in 1992, Thomas Friedman toured a Lexus factory in Japan and marveled at the robots that put the luxury cars together. That evening, as he ate sushi on a Japanese bullet train, he read a story about yet another Middle East squabble between Palestinians and Israelis. And it hit him: Half the world was lusting after those Lexuses, or at least the brilliant technology that made them possible, and the other half was fighting over who owned which olive tree.

Friedman, the well-traveled New York Times foreign-affairs columnist, peppers The Lexus and the Olive Tree with stories that illustrate his central theme: that globalization--the Lexus--is the central organizing principle of the post-cold war world, even though many individuals and nations resist by holding onto what has traditionally mattered to them--the olive tree.

Problem is, few of us understand what exactly globalization means. As Friedman sees it, the concept, at first glance, is all about American hegemony, about Disneyfication of all corners of the earth. But the reality, thank goodness, is far more complex than that, involving international relations, global markets, and the rise of the power of individuals (Bill Gates, Osama Bin Laden) relative to the power of nations.

No one knows how all this will shake out, but The Lexus and the Olive Tree is as good an overview of this sometimes brave, sometimes fearful new world as you'll find. --Lou Schuler

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:51 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A brilliant investigation of globalization, the most significant socioeconomic trend in the world today, and how it is affecting everything we do-economically, politically, and culturally-abroad and at home. As foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman crisscrosses the globe talking with the world's economic and political leaders, and reporting, as only he can, on what he sees. Now he has used his years of experience as a reporter and columnist to produce a pithy, trenchant, riveting look at the worldwide market forces that are driving today's economies and how they are playing out both internationally and locally. Globalization is the technologically driven expression of free-market capitalism, and as such is essentially an American creation. It has irrevocably changed the way business is done and has raised living standards throughout the world. But powerful local forces-of religion, race, ethnicity, and cultural identity-are in competition with technology for the hearts and minds of their societies. Finding the proper balance between the Lexus and the olive tree is the great game of globalization-and the ultimate theme of Friedman's challenging, provocative book, essential reading for all who care about how the world really works.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
134 avail.
47 wanted
3 pay4 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.57)
0.5 1
1 9
1.5 1
2 29
2.5 6
3 76
3.5 17
4 115
4.5 6
5 48

Audible.com

An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,775,543 books! | Top bar: Always visible