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The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization Paperback – May 2 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (May 2 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385499345
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385499347
  • Product Dimensions: 20.7 x 13.1 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (324 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #279,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Adams on April 3 2004
Format: Paperback
This work provides a general understanding of the drivers behind globalization, but Friedman often leaves concepts in mid-air without closure. And for that reason much of the book seems like speculation or 'best guess as to why' Q&A.
Friedman's admiration for Enron will make you giggle and the little attention he gives to terrorism as a backlash to globalization weakens the entire work.
Perhaps so much has changed since 9/11/01, its outdated that quickly.
I would recommend it for high school students as an intro to the topic.
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By glen cochrane TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Jan. 6 2013
Format: Paperback
I found this a great book as an introduction to the subject. For me, much of the material was new, and the perspective was one which I had not much familiarity with. Other reviews seems to have taken objection to the simplicity of the book, but perhaps their purposes need a deeper, more expansive exporation of the topic. Their own purposes shouldn't be reflected ion a judgement of the book itself.

I did find Friedman's pro-American stance a bit frustrating, at times, as he takes a singular view on American culture expansion throughout the world without very serious consideration for its impact. He main proposition, that globalization is good, is perhaps a very worthwhile message in this day and age...although, I do wonder how much has changed since this book was first written. Perhaps it is getting a bit out of date by now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Caitlin Meyers on April 27 2003
Format: Paperback
The Lexus And The Olive Tree was recommended to me by my Economics teacher. After reading it I can see why she thought I should use this book for my assignment. It is about Thomas L. Friedman's original look on the new international system. This new system is known as globilization and it has replaced, as Friedman would call it, "the Cold War system." Globalization has changed how we invest, our technology, and ways of communication while shaping world affairs today.
Friedman uses the conflict of "the Lexus and the olive tree" to help explain the concepts of globalization verse ancient forces of tradition. The olive tree represents everything that roots us, like family, community, religion, or a place called home. The Lexus represents all the financial institutions and computer technologies found in the global market today.
I enjoyed reading this book because it gave me a better understanding of globalization. Something that I had never really heard of before reading it. Friedman did a very good job of showing the advantages and disadvantages of this new international system. His vivid stories helped explain a lot of what he was trying to tell the reader. There still was some things that I didn't understand completely. This is just because I'm new at this economics thing, and I didn't know a lot about the history behind some of his concepts.
After reading this book I feel that America homogenizes countries too much. And we do it for our own needs. We do it to make them more accessible to us so we can use their resources. This is just my opinion on the whole thing after reading the book.
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By A Customer on Oct. 27 2004
Format: Paperback
Finally a book that describes the era of globalization and development of free market economies in a way that promotes the good side of the equation! Very understandable book that uses real stories by the author that illustrate what is going on in the world with respect to globalization. Especially recommended read for those folks who may have been involved in the demonstrations against it.
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Format: Paperback
The Lexus and the Olive Tree is an important book, but in many ways Thomas Friedman renders his own creation irrelevant. He is almost schizophrenic in his writing style, arguing with himself as if he has yet to make up his mind about the things he is writing. In some ways, it seems like he just prefers to share anecdotes (which are vivid and usually humorous) from his travels around the world, rather than the typical kinds of fact-based research one finds in these sort of books. The result is that the reader can understand some of the concepts, but they can also get a little tedious, and it is hard to translate the anecdotes into something that I assimilate into my worldview.
Furthermore, Friedman seems to love to quote people at length, but one wonders if indeed he is quoting word-for-word, or if he is just sort of crafting something to fit his book out of a vaguely similar comment the person may have made. But, then one thinks again, because the book is almost a little choppy in places because Friedman quotes random characters from all around the world for pages upon pages. One would prefer that he just paraphrase or use shorter quotes.
Because it was written 5 years ago, some of the reading is tedious (he explains what a DVD player is, for example), and in some areas he seems to be caught up in the "irrational" dot-com whirlwind. In his revised version of the book, it sort of just drones on, pontificating for about 20-30 pages too much. Thomas Friedman is a very personable guy, and he has a lot of interesting things to say about the world, but honestly, one doesn't care for his own political/religious philosophy being injected, mostly toward the end of the book. It was just awkward to read through the final chapter or two; the book has multiple personality disorder in some regards.
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