Book Review: The World is Flat (Thomas L. Friedman)

By now, everybody has heard the alarm bells sounding about the increased level of global employment competition and the danger that “outsourcing” potentially poses to American jobs.

In The World Is Flat, Mr. Friedman, the award-winning New York Times columnist, shares page after page of fascinating insights about today’s international economy and some of the revolutionary (and almost unbelievable) ways that companies are getting their products and services produced across the globe.  Even regular readers of Fortune and the Wall Street Journal are likely to be shocked, or at least dramatically intrigued, by some of the author’s anecdotes and the collection of real-life examples he shares about the ways multinational corporations are getting business done in the 21st Century.

The enjoyment factor aside, however, the primary reason we’re stressing this book in a career-related newsletter is because we consider it nothing short of “required reading” for people who work in professional, knowledge-based jobs and who have a vested interest in maintaining their job marketability for the next decade, or two, or three.  And lest you be worried, the author points out that the scenario is not necessarily one of doom and gloom.  This book, in fact, challenged many of our own preconceived notions about outsourcing and examined how the growth of the global economy has taken some jobs out of the United States, but also brought many other employment opportunities back into the country.

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