The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization (Newly Updated and Expanded Edition)

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Paperback, 490 pages
Anchor Books, 2000
First Anchor Books Edition, Tenth Printing

In The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Thomas L. Friedman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times, offers an engrossing look at the new international system that is transforming world affairs today. Globalization has replaced the Cold War system with the integration of capital, technology, and information across national borders—uniting Brazilian peasants, Indonesian entrepreneurs, Chinese villagers, and Silicon Valley technocrats in a single global village. You cannot understand the morning news, know where to invest your money, or think about the future unless you understand this new system, which is profoundly influencing virtually every country in the world today. Friedman tells you what this electronic global economy is all about and what it will take to live within it.

With vivid stories drawn from his extensive travels, he dramatizes the conflict of “the Lexus and the olive tree”—the tension between the globalization system and the ancient forces of culture, geography, tradition, and community. He also details the powerful backlash that globalization produces among those who feel brutalized by it, and he spells out what we all need to do to keep the Lexus and the olive tree in balance. For this new paperback edition, Friedman has substantially expanded and updated his provocative analysis, making it essential reading for all who care about how the world works now.

Editorial Reviews

A powerful volume that comes as close as anything we now have to a definition of the real character of the new world order. --Francis Fukuyama, The New Statesman

Important....Friedman writes in straightforward language that should make globalization's complexities comprehensible.  There's a great deal of wisdom in this book. --USA Today

“Friedman gets the economics right. His book is a wellspring of economic common sense that will inoculate its readers against the ‘globaloney' so prevalent in popular discussions of the subject.” ―Foreign Affairs

“Friedman convincingly argues that what creates wealth has suddenly changed.…The Lexus and the Olive Tree makes alarmingly good sense; it educates and provokes.” ―The Baltimore Sun

About the Author

Thomas L. Friedman has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize three times for his work with The New York Times, where he serves as the foreign affairs columnist. Read by everyone from small-business owners to President Obama, Hot, Flat, and Crowded was an international bestseller in hardcover. Friedman is also the author of From Beirut to Jerusalem (1989), The Lexus and the Olive Tree (1999), Longitudes and Attitudes (2002), and The World is Flat (2005). He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.