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The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Thomas L. Friedman
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2. Mai 2000
From one of our most perceptive commentators and winner of the National Book Award, a comprehensive look at the new world of globalization, the international system that, more than anything else, is shaping world affairs today.

As the Foreign Affairs columnist for The New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman has traveled the globe, interviewing people from all walks of contemporary life: Brazilian peasants in the Amazon rain forest, new entrepreneurs in Indonesia, Islamic students in Teheran, and the financial wizards on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley.

Now Friedman has drawn on his years on the road to produce an engrossing and original look at globalization. Globalization, he argues, is not just a phenomenon and not just a passing trend. It is the international system that replaced the Cold War system; the new, well-greased, interconnected system: Globalization is the integration of capital, technology, and information across national borders, in a way that is creating a single global market and, to some degreee, a global village. Simply put, one can't possibly understand the morning news or one's own investments without some grasp of the system. Just one example: During the Cold War, we reached for the hot line between the White House and the Kremlin--a symbol that we were all divided but at least the two superpowers were in charge. In the era of globalization, we reach for the Internet--a symbol that we are all connected but nobody is totally in charge.

With vivid stories and a set of original terms and concepts, Friedman offers readers remarkable access to his unique understanding of this new world order, and shows us how to see this new system. He dramatizes the conflict of "the Lexus and the olive tree"--the tension between the globalization system and 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 system in balance. Finding the proper balance between the Lexus and the olive tree is the great drama of he globalization era, and the ultimate theme of Friedman's challenging, provocative book--essential reading for all who care about how the world really works.

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One day in 1992, Thomas Friedman toured a Lexus factory in Japan and marvelled 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-travelled New York Times foreign-affairs columnist, peppers The Lexus and the Olive Tree with stories that illustrate his central theme: that globalisation--the Lexus--is the central organising 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 globalisation 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, -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


National Bestseller
#1 New York Times Business Bestseller

"A brilliant guide to the here and now."--The New York Times Book Review

"An owner's manual for a globalized world."--USA Today

"A spirited and imaginative exploration of our new order of economic globalization.... Not only clear but interesting, not only interesting but necessary to us--first-rate."
--The New York Times

"A wellspring of economic common sense that will innoculate its readers against the 'globaloney' so prevalent in popular discussions of the subject.... Readers in search of a window onto the problems of the cyberspace-driven 'virtual world economy' of the twenty-first century are unlikely to find a better place to start."--Foreign Affairs

"This is an important book; not since Nicholas Negroponte's Being Digital has a volume come along that so well explains the technical and financial ether we are all swimming through.... There is hardly a page in the book without an underlineable passage."--Salon

"All of us are groping to understand what's going on. For a useful first pass on history, consult Thomas Friedman."--Business Week

"Required reading for anyone who still thinks of the Internet as little more than a gimmick for computer nerds--deftly accomplishes the impressive task of encapsulating the complex economic, cultural, and environmental challenges of globalization with the sort of hindsight that future historians will bring to bear upon the subject."--The Christian Science Monitor

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7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Best book on Globalization! 28. Juli 2000
I am an economist by profession and my job is to analyze the economic and political risk of countries. I have found Friedman's book extremely useful in helping me understand the factors shaping today's global economy. Some people, as I have read in this website reviews, may find Friedman's analysis cold hearted, as the book argues, quite well, that free market capitalism is here to stay, and countries, companies, and individuals need to adapt to the system, or run the risk of being left behind. Not only does the book describes the new system masterfully, but also dares to make recommendations and tries to explain the trends of this new global system. The book's conclussion is one of hope: We do not necessarily need an all encompassinng global government to police the world; the power given by the democratization of technology (internet and widespread information) can create all sorts of organizations that will find all sorts of solutions (and excert pressure) to end corruption, increase transparency and democracy, all of this with market base remedies. It is an excellent book, probably the best I have read on globalization. Don't read "One World, Ready or Not" as one reviewer recommended. The author doesn't have a clue about economics and totally misses the picture. Other than "The Lexus and the Olive Tree" I recommend "ButterFly Economics", which explains why current economic theory is outdated and the author introduces Chaos Theory in order to better explain behavior in today's markets.
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4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen The lexus, the olive tree, and a huge ego 12. Juni 2000
Before reading and listening to the book I thought some of the negative reviews had to be unfair. Then I read and listened to this book, and it was worse than any review had indicated. The opening story about oranges sets the stage. Here is a person so accustomed to luxury and so insulated from the real world, he misses the point himself. Poor communication. and a lack of cultural understanding leads to not getting what you want in the globalized world. His whole thesis is based on being rich and making lots of money. He never mentions going to places like Italy where this is seldom a priority. He judges the "olive tree" culture harshly. He assumes everyone wants a Lexus.
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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Wise and Witty 16. Juli 2000
The impossibility of restricting information in the Internet age, the impracticality of slowing down innovation in the computer age, and the futility of forbidding foreign investment in the international-banking age are the main themes that run through this wise and witty study of globalization and its consequences for our increasingly fast-paced, increasingly smaller planet.
Journalist Thomas L. Friedman's "The Lexus and the Olive Tree" uses a host of metaphors to housebreak international business, finance, culture, technology and the environment for his readers. Flows of capital are controlled by an "Electronic Herd" of investors who flow into lucrative markets (and slosh out just as quickly if they sense trouble, as several southeast Asian countries found to their chagrin in the 1990s). Friedman opines that a country has to have an advanced "operating system" (a predilection to capitalism) to increase its standard of living. The USA and Britian are at the top, followed closely by France and Germany. Korea is just below. These societies can put on the "Golden Straitjacket" of capitalist restraint and watch their economies zoom. But not, say, Russia. They've spend too long under a system by which the success of a bedframe factory is not profit, consumer satisfaction, quality or good shipped but amount of steel consumed, the most absurd, downside-up measure of success possible.
But any society--even one as free-market oriented as the USA's--can't leave tradition behind in the dust. Hence the tension between the "Lexus" (high-tech innovation) and the "olive tree" (tradition, pride, tribalism). Note well the current opposition to the WTO.
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5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Globalisation in "America is the Best" Style 9. Juni 2004
Von "drajmal"
I liked the book. It opens me a new horizons into the worlds politics and economy. I liked the little stories, author uses for explanation. The only thing i did not like ist the "America is the best" approach, what can be very provocative for an European (or other).
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Readers familiar with Thomas Friedman's consistently superb work for The New York Times - first reporting from the Middle East and now writing a column on foreign affairs - know him to be exceptionally bright and articulate. Since 1994, Friedman has specialized in covering the intersection between foreign policy and international finance, so he is an ideal interpreter of globalization - the trend toward international economic integration through free-market capitalism. This book is a fine introduction to events profoundly impacting on our world, written in Friedman's characteristically clear and crisp prose. The "Lexus" in Friedman's title stands for "the drive for sustenance, improvement, prosperity and modernization," whereas the "olive tree" "represents everything that roots us, anchors us, identifies us and locates us in the world - whether it be belonging to a family, a community, a tribe, a nation, a religion or, most of all, a place called home." Much of Friedman's book is devoted to the theme of the Lexus and olive tree wrestling with each other in order to find a healthy balance. According to Friedman: "The challenge in this era of globalization - for countries and for individuals - is to find a healthy balance between preserving a sense of identity, home and community and doing what it takes to survive within the globalization system."
In Friedman's view, the "slow, fixed, divided Cold War system" is readily distinguishable from the "new, very greased, interconnected" world of globalization, in which free-market capitalism is spreading throughout the world.
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Die neuesten Kundenrezensionen
1.0 von 5 Sternen Verfehlt, vollkommen veraltet
Das Audio-Book ist sehr gut zu hören, der Autor liest selber vor und stellt seine Inhalte überzeugend dar - auf der sprachlichen Ebene. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 7. Februar 2011 von A. Berthy
4.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent view on what has taken part in the world the last
If you what to understand the broad term perspective of globalization, go for it! Just be prepared to see the USA emerge as the great winner in global restructuring in this book. Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 15. Oktober 2005 veröffentlicht
1.0 von 5 Sternen Ideology disguised as journalism
T.L. Friedman is an apologist for Bush and Sharon, for blind one-sided policies that damage the UIS and the rest of the world. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 20. Dezember 2003 von Professor Joseph L. McCauley
1.0 von 5 Sternen Don't buy a biased book on globalization
This text about globalization is an opinion piece, at best. All that the author has to say is based on his personal opinions and on subjective interpretations of observations he... Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 21. November 2002 veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen You will NOT like this book IF:
1.) You think the UN is flying black helicopters over your house.
2.) You have ever said "megadittoes."
3.) You plan to vote for Ralph Nader.
4. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 27. Juli 2000 von matthew osborne
5.0 von 5 Sternen Triumphalism or inconvenient truths for righteous lefties?
Thomas Friedman's book about globalization, The Lexus and The Olive Tree (2nd. ed, 2000), is a fascinating explanation of the forces - the pre-eminence of market capitalism, the... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 23. Juli 2000 von Daniel Iggers
In opening this book I felt like the Eskimo being confronted by the British flag presented to him by that famous English explorer of Arctica: the flag had the olive tree branch... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 11. Juli 2000 von Hermes Trismegistus
5.0 von 5 Sternen Tom Friedman was born to write
Like his earlier book, "From Beirut to Jerusalem," Tom Friedman displays a mastery over his subject like few authors. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 8. Juli 2000 von Todd Winer
4.0 von 5 Sternen The Lexus and the Olive Tree
Thomas Friedman's tour of globalization in his book The Lexus and the Olive Tree was a interesting examintion of perils and successes of the global village. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 4. Juli 2000 von Richard C. Schmitt
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