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The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 2. Mai 2000

3.5 von 5 Sternen 135 Kundenrezensionen

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Taschenbuch, 2. Mai 2000
EUR 17,99 EUR 0,49
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Produktbeschreibungen

Amazon.de

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, Amazon.com -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

Pressestimmen

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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Format: Taschenbuch
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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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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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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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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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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