Why is half the world intent on building a better car, while the other half is locked in primordial struggles over who owns which olive tree, which strip of land? Award-winning journalist Thomas Friedman has travelled to the four corners of the globe, interviewing everyone from Brazilian peasants to new entrepreneurs in Indonesia, to Islamic students, to the financial wizards on Wall Street and Silicon Valley. He is uniquely placed to write this engrossing and exceptional account of globalisation, the new international system which replaced the Cold War order and which, more than anything else, is shaping world affairs today.
The unprecedented integration of finance, markets, nation states and technology is driving change across the globe at ever-increasing speed, simultaneously creating astonishing wealth and devastating failure. The prizes are huge and the penalties far-reaching. The effects are brought vividly to life by Friedman with tales of Russian gangsters, Japanese burger chains, $600-million gambles and pyramid-selling in Albania.
Interaction between globalisation and the ancient forces of culture, geography, tradition and community governs our lives. Finding the proper balance between the Lexus and the olive tree is the ultimate theme of Friedman's ground-breaking book - essential reading for anyone who wants to know how the world really works.