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Good framework and examples, 8. Juni 2000
On the whole Friedman succeeds in meeting the two objectives he sets for this book. First, he provides a valuable framework for discussion of the causes and course of globalization that is more comprehensive than previous attempts and is useful regardless where you stand on globalization. Second, Friedman provides examples that bring this phenomenon to life.
This more than compensates for the negatives, which include: (1) there is not as much substance as one would expect from the length of the book, (2) the personalization that may be appropriate in Friedman's New York Times column tends to come across as being full of himself in book length, (3) the new terms Friedman coins and the analogies are sometimes just plain silly, and (4) about page 300 Friedman switches from descriptive to prescriptive and looses credibility and his sense of conviction.
Freidman has also sparked useful debate. While his detractors have tried to position him as an unfeeling cheerleader for globalization what really gets to them his is assertion that for the first time countries can choose to be prosperous provided they are willing to play by the rules of the global markets. As people come to understand this, the advocates for old "ism's" or new "third ways" will be challenged to come up with more compelling cases for their alternatives.