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The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization
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The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization [Format Kindle]

Thomas L. Friedman
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

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.

Problem is, few of us understand what exactly globalization 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

From AudioFile

NEW YORK TIMES columnist Thomas Friedman gives a succinct and insightful explanation of the benefits and challenges of globalization and technology. The Lexus, the automobile that uses parts from all over the world, represents the marvels of technological development and global integration; the olive tree is synonymous with traditional, communal agrarian existence. Friedman is unabashed in his enthusiasm for new technologies and new methods of governance, but he also projects sympathy for those who fear and resist the move to a new economy. While his compelling dissection of the major issues confronting all societies slips into a pro-American diatribe in the tape's final moments, the author commendably makes a complex topic accessible and enjoyable. J.B.B. (c) AudioFile 2000, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Après la Guerre Froide, la Globalisation? 24 mai 2004
Par "moanan"
Un livre clair, bien écrit, qui ne se contente pas d'exposer des théories mais les replace dans leur contexte. Comment analyser le monde après la chute de l'Union Soviétique? Y a-t-il des règles sous-jacentes ou fait-on face au chaos que tant d'analystes nous avaient prédit? Qu'est-ce que la globalisation, pourquoi ce concept fait-il si peur, comment vont évoluer les rapports entre individus, nations et compagnies? Et, plus prosaïquement, comment vit-on la globalisation lorsqu'on habite au Qatar, au Liban, en Italie ou aux Etats-Unis?
Si vous avez peur des notions incompréhensibles rédigées dans un langage élitiste, lisez ce livre. Si vous voulez connaître l'opinion américaine sur ce que le monde devient et la place que les nations en général et les USA en particulier vont être menés à jouer, lisez ce livre. Et si vous ne parlez pas Anglais, envoyez une pétition à l'éditeur pour qu'il soit traduit en Français - quel dommage que cette petite perle ne soit pas accessible à tous...
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5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Understanding Globalization 18 novembre 2004
Ce best-seller nous conte le monde d'aujourd'hui : la mondialisation dans ses différents aspects et ses multiples enjeux. Thomas Friedman agrémente sa démonstration de nombreuses anecdotes, tirées de son expérience en tant que journaliste au New York Times, qui nous permettent d'appréhender de façon très concrète la mondialisation. Il nous propose par ailleurs de nombreuses images pour illustrer avec brio ce nouveau phénomène, ce monde interdépendant et connecté. Le poids des marchés financiers et des investissements directs étrangers, l'importance fondamentale de la technologie, la nécessaire intégration des pays du Tiers Monde dans la mondialisation n'auront plus de secret pour vous après la lecture de cet ouvrage. Mais surtout, Friedman met en exergue la tension croissante entre la Lexus et l'olivier, entre la mondialisation et la préservation de notre identité : comment conserver les valeurs fondamentales que nous inculque notre culture et s'intégrer dans le monde moderne ?
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3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 comprendre le monde 12 août 2002
AVec des exemples simples et compréhensibles, Thomas Friedman explique tous les liens financiers, politique, économique et technologique qui existent aujourd'hui entre un pays et un autre. Ce livre permet de comprendre pourquoi la récession économique d'un pays qui à priori n'a rien à voir avec le nôtre peut nous impacter personnellement.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Disparu 4 juin 2010
le colis a ete ouvert a la douane et ce livre a sans doute disparu a ce moment la car nous ne l'avons pas recu. J'ai ete obligee d'evaluerl'article afin de pouvoir evoyer le commentaire. Evdemment, elle est bidon!
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.6 étoiles sur 5  429 commentaires
425 internautes sur 497 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Not Even Close to the Whole Story 24 février 2002
Par doomsdayer520 - Publié sur
The writer of this book, Thomas Friedman, has impressive credentials as a globetrotting journalist and expert on international economics. I'm sure that on the job he is required to be objective and impartial. But that's not the case in this heavy-handed and very arrogant book on globalization. You may find this book informative and fun to read, but beware that you're not getting anything close to the full story on this phenomenon.
Friedman's writing style is mostly conversational and easy to read, though he tends to talk about his own friends and adventures way too much. Also, Friedman can't stop making up his own terminology, like Golden Straitjacket, Electronic Herd, Globalution, Glocalism, and the especially irritating DOScapital. The problem is, Friedman merely throws these terms at numerous and scattershot examples of phenomena that may possibly lend them meaning, but fails to adequately describe them himself.
Parts One and Two of this book are actually quite strong as Friedman remains mostly objective in describing the rise of globalization and where things stand today. He also includes a surprising amount of coverage on the negative effects on the environment and non-Western cultures (for the time being). Unfortunately, this book collapses into a firestorm of arrogance in Part 3, which is misleadingly titled "The Backlash Against the System." Here Friedman actually spends more time criticizing those who can't or won't jump on the sacred globalization bandwagon. He uses the derogatory term "turtles" for people who are being left behind by the new economic realities around the world, and doesn't care if it's not their fault. He demeans concern for disadvantaged peoples and countries as "politically correct nonsense" (pg. 355).
Some portions of this book are getting outdated, which is not Friedman's fault, but the gaps are very revealing. Several times he cites Enron as a strong global company with the world's best interests at heart, and failed to predict the tech stock crash of 2000 and how it would drastically slow down the US-led growth of the world economy (see chapter 17). This shows that Friedman's predictions in this book are already starting to fall apart. Friedman also completely avoids the issue of corporate domination, as rulings by the pro-corporate WTO have allowed multinational companies to supersede the laws of sovereign nations (such as the blatant disregard for Nigeria's environmental laws by Western oil companies). Finally, Part Four of this book descends into anemic boosterism as Friedman tries to convince us that American culture and corporations will solve all the world's ills as peoples around the world happily embrace globalization. By this point, Friedman has left objectivity far behind. His clear contempt for those who are concerned about globalization's destructive effects, and his apparent belief that American corporations only wish to solve the world's ills, prove that he has not succeeded in telling the full story. Not even close.
64 internautes sur 77 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Brilliant overview of globalisation. Essential reading 8 décembre 1999
Par Bill Godfrey - Publié sur
A very wide ranging book written by an experienced journalist about the dilemmas created as globalisation transforms the world around our local communities and cultures. He won two Pulitzer Prizes for his reporting as bureau chief in Beirut, and it is this background from which the analogy of the olive tree comes. He explains how his career has enabled him to slowly come to see the many different dimensions of globalisation, how they link, and what we can do about it. It is a very systemic perspective. (Thurow, Lester: Building Wealth is complementary to it. Korten, David: When Corporations Rule the World provides a 1995 counterblast. Any of the books and pamphlets by Robert Theobald and also Harman, W.: Global Mind Change provide creative ideas on how globalisation can be redirected to achieve societal ans well as economic ends.)
The book is in four parts.
Part one explains how to look at the system we call globalisation and how it works.
Part two is a discussion of how nation-states, communities, individuals and the environment interact with the system.
Part three is a good look at the backlash.
Part four is an even better look at the unique role of the USA in this new world.
To understand and convey the complexity of what is going on, Friedman believes that he had to learn to combine six dimensions or perspectives in different ways and weights to understand the systemic interrelationships at play and then tell stories in order to explain it. This is what he does in the book. He also identifies what he believes to be the key driving forces to globalisation and the conditions necessary for a society to succeed in a globalised world.
As an analysis of the multiple forces at play and their interaction, The Lexus and the Olive Tree could hardly be bettered, and the comment that we know about as much about the globalised world that is emerging as we did about the Cold War world in 1946 really resonates.
I am less satisfied with Friedman's prescription, which is essentially that rape is inevitable - and may be pleasurable - so we may as well relax and enjoy it. That both under-rates the very real dangers posed by a large group of potential losers and, more important, absolves us from the need to search creatively for a third way that places more emphasis on the human spirit and sustainability and less on money as such.
It is notable how much of the business literature is beginning to focus on ethics, spiritual values and moral and ethical obligations. It is also notable how rapidly the various movements to reshape the world around more fundamentally human values are building strength. The balance is not just, as Friedman seems to suggest, between globalised progress and separatist stagnation, but other options need creative development, based on wider values than those that motivate the 'electronic herd'.
The conspiracy theorists claim that global business is consciously trying to promote the 'inevitability' of a system that happens to suit them very well. They would probably claim that Friedman has fallen into their trap. Whatever the truth or otherwise of a 'conspiracy', I am left with Russell Ackoff's phrase ringing in my head - 'If we don't work to get the future we want, we will have to learn to live with the future we get.'
Recognising the strength of the forces that Friedman describes so well, that is perhaps the issue. Are we clear about what kind of world we want and are we prepared to work for it?
16 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A Very Important Book 16 octobre 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur
There can be no doubt that The Lexus and The Olive Tree is a very interesting and, probably, important book. Globalization has become a household word, yet there are few, including me, who really understand all of its ramifications. Not since Nicholas Negroponte's Being Digtal has a book come along that helps us understand the real meaning of globilazation as well as does The Lexus and the Olive Tree.
Friedman see globilization as the defining theory of the post-Cold War world. The lexus, to Friedman, is the pinnacle of high-quality production, and high-quality production is what makes globilization possible. The olive tree is seen as the symbol of wealth in pre-modern, "slow" economies.
Friedman defines globilization as that cluster of trends and technologies (the Internet, fiber optics, digitalization, satellite communications) that have served to increase productivity and speed up international business since 1989, the year of the fall of the Berlin Wall. During this period, the cost of communications has declined with more and more people now accessing sources of finance and technology. In fact, anyone who has ever used the Internet for research or simply sent or received an email is a part of the "democratization" of globilization.
Virtually every page in the book contains information so important you might want to keep a pencil handy to underline. For example, Friedman tells us that, as far as globilization is concerned, the most frequently asked question is, "How fast is your modem?"
Friedman does wax a bit grandiose at times. He is certainly a name-dropper extraordinnaire. The man, however was foreign affairs columnist for the New York Times. He certainly has meet and chatted with all the people he talks about; we don't doubt that, we just get a little tired of hearing about it. His imaginary arguments between real political figures can be a little annoying as are his overly-clever chapter titles. These things, however, can be easily overlooked.
One thing that really does mar this otherwise excellent book is Friedman's extreme sense of patriotism. He seems to view globilization as just another reason to exercise the doctrine of Manifest Destiny. We are definitely not living behind the times here in Western Europe; in fact, in many areas of technology we are far superior, a fact that Friedman sadly overlooks.
Despite this book's one glaring fault, it is still extremely important and should not be overlooked. Friedman's message is clear and it does make sense: Forget old ideas of a first, second and third world. They just don't exist. In today's society, all that matters is the Fast World and the Slow World and those who don't keep up will find themselves out in the cold.
23 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A must read to understand today's events 13 mai 2001
Par William Tarr - Publié sur
Friedman's book is an engaging look at what globalization means in this post Cold War world. By describing the rise of global markets through examining the world through six different "lenses," he is able to take a complex subject and make an understandable and compelling argument for his view that globalization is like the dawn. In his own words "even if I didn't much care for the dawn there isn't much I could do about it."
As the New York Times foreign affairs columnist he is able to bring a wealth of experience and personal observation to the book, and he fills it with interesting, compelling, and sometimes disturbing anecdotes from his travels and relationships with foreign leaders.
He makes a case that through the democratization of finance, information, and technology, we have an increasingly interdependent global economy, fraught with both great rewards, and great dangers. Friedman artfully describes those groups of people who are well positioned for success (and also risk) in the global economy, "gazelles and lions," who have to run every day to eat or to avoid being eaten. The author also describes those people who are not positioned to compete in the global economy (the "Fast World") and see globalization as an unseen and uncontrollable force increasingly threatening the lives and livelihood of both themselves and their children (turtles, trying to avoid becoming road kill).
Friedman explains the danger to a backlash against globalization and gives real suggestions about things to change in our political construct, and things to preserve and strengthen. In his words "America, at its best is not just a country. It's a spiritual value and role model. It's a nation that is not afraid to go to the moon, but also still loves to come home for Little League."
I finished the book with tears in my eyes. The strength of his vision is compelling and this book is the first I have read that has both defined, and accurately caught the start of, this new system of globalization.
23 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Defining Globalization- The Lexus and the Olive Tree 9 janvier 2000
Par LeeAnn Stone - Publié sur
In "The Lexus and the Olive Tree", Thomas Friedman describes and defines globalization (the current "international system") in terms of its contrasts with the previous Cold War system. The unique defining imagery of the two systems highlights these contrasts: the perspective of division (Cold War) vs. integration (globalization); the symbol of the wall vs. the world wide web; the document of "The Treaty" vs. "The Deal"; the anxiety of annihilation from a well-known enemy vs. destruction from an anonymous one; the defense system of the radar to expose threats from without vs. the X-ray to expose threats from within; and the connection of the hot line between the White House and the Kremlin- a symbol that we were all divided, but at least someone was in charge vs. the Internet- a symbol that we are all connected but nobody is in charge.
The Cold War power structure was exclusively a balance between nation-states, specifically between the two superpowers of the United States and the Soviet Union. In contrast, Friedman details the three overlapping balances which define the power structure of globalization. These are the balance between nation-states; between nation-states and the global "Supermarkets" (the key global financial centers); and between "Super-empowered individuals" and nation-states. This last balance is not only the newest, but potentially the most threatening to global well-being. For while the combination of the fall of borders and the connecting of people through technology can and has empowered to great good, it also leaves avenues open for "Super-empowered Angry Men" (and Women) to use the powers embedded in globalization to act directly on the world stage without the previous era's mediation of governments, corporations or other institutions. As a result, this globalized world is a potentially more dangerous one than the Cold War world.
The "Golden Straightjacket" is Friedman's metaphor for a country's adoption of the economic and political rules that enable it to become a member of the globalized system. Donning this straightjacket has many implications for countries that do so; among them, Friedman observes, economies typically grow and politics shrink. Political choices are more limited, but transparency and openness increases. Those countries that put on the Golden Straightjacket are rewarded by the Electronic Herd- the traders and multinational corporations who constitute the funding sources in the world today. Those that don't are disciplined by the herd as it avoids investing or withdraws its money from that country. Thus, concludes Friedman, it is not necessarily inevitable that a country don the Golden Straightjacket and participate in globalization, however, the only place a country can go to get big checks is to the Electronic Herd. Countries' choices therefore include either donning the straightjacket and behaving in a way that is attractive to the herd, or not and living with the consequences.
The implications of donning this straightjacket extend even deeper, for the Electronic Herd's motivations in investing in a country are significantly different than the motivations of the superpowers during the Cold War. Cold War motivations revolved strictly around gaining and maintaining allegiances, of making more of the world "ours" and less "theirs". In contrast, the Electronic Herd's motivation is profit. Thus, transparency of financial data and transactions, reliable accounting practices, reduction of corruption and predictability of the business environment, freedom of the press, having a bond market, and democratization (to provide flexibility, legitimacy and sustainability) are key indicators of a countries' preparedness to provide a foundation for investment by the herd. Some of these indicators cut to the very core of a countries' existing socio-political culture. As Friedman concludes, "joining the global economy and plugging into the Electronic Herd is the equivalent of taking your country public" (p.141).
With metaphors and illustrative anecdotes dispersed liberally throughout the book, Friedman is able to maneuver the reader through the complexities of the overlapping influences of globalization on the world today. He has coined a number of new terms, some of which will certainly enter the permanent lexicon. All 382 pages are interesting reading that lead the reader to a greater understanding of the web of interconnectedness that defines the world today. Not only compelling intellectual content here, but a source of good cocktail party conversation as well.
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Those countries that are most willing to let capitalism quickly destroy inefficient companies, so that money can be freed up and directed to more innovative ones, will thrive in the era of globalization. Those which rely on their governments to protect them from such creative destruction will fall behind in this era. &quote;
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What blew away all these walls were three fundamental changeschanges in how we communicate, how we invest and how we learn about the world. &quote;
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