Top critical review
A good NYTimes article not a good 300+ page book
Reviewed in the United States on August 13, 2005
The impact of communications and information technologies are doubtlessly changing the way the world works -- getting flat. However, Friedman could make this book alot shorter-flatter and have a greater impact.
The basic premise of the book is that work, economic value, and wealth is no longer trapped along national and industry lines. The book pounds on the work being done in India and manufacturing work in China as proof that the world is changing. This is true and interesting on page 30 -- it is a but redundant after page 200.
Throughout the book, Friedman tries to write from the first person perspective -- as he is discovering this new phenomoenon that snuck up on the world in the turmoil of the post internet bust, terrorist attack world. This give the book a "look what I found" quality to it that makes the phenomenon seem more trivial.
This book is expositiory writing, journalism about the issue -- which is fine because that is what Friedman is.
If you are looking for answers, this is not the place to look.
Friedman is so fascinated with the term "flat" that it becomes his little buzz word that you hear way to often and in the strangest situations.
This was a great premise for a New York Times article and you can find Friedman in the NYT. Following that column will give you more insight and less repetition than this work.