The Lexus and the Olive Tree
If you haven’t read any of New York Times reporter Thomas Friedman’s book, now is the time. Friedman gets it.
One day in 1992, Thomas Friedman toured a Lexus factory in Japan and marveled 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-traveled New York Times foreign-affairs columnist, peppers The Lexus and the Olive Tree with stories that illustrate his central theme: that globalization–the Lexus–is the central organizing 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.
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