The Lexus and The Olive Tree by Thomas L. Friedman | Book Review

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Lexus and the Olive Tree

The Challenge in this era of globalization is to find a healthy balance between preserving a sense of identity, home and community and doing what it takes to survive withing the globalization system. pg. 42.

By  Thomas L. Friedman
3 of 5 stars

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Genre                      : Non Fiction
Author : Thomas L. Friedman
Title         : The Lexus and the Olive Tree
Publisher         : Achor Books
Year of published : April, 2000
ISBN : 978-0385-7201-51
Self-printed and I forget the price. Lol.

In The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Thomas L. Friedman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times, offers an engrossing look at the new international system that is transforming world affairs today. Globalization has replaced the Cold War system with the integration of capital, technology, and information across national borders—uniting Brazilian peasants, Indonesian entrepreneurs, Chinese villagers, and Silicon Valley technocrats in a single global village. You cannot understand the morning news, know where to invest your money, or think about the future unless you understand this new system, which is profoundly influencing virtually every country in the world today. Friedman tells you what this electronic global economy is all about and what it will take to live within it.

With vivid stories drawn from his extensive travels, he dramatizes the conflict of “the Lexus and the olive tree”—the tension between the globalization system and the ancient forces of culture, geography, tradition, and community. He also details the powerful backlash that globalization produces among those who feel brutalized by it, and he spells out what we all need to do to keep the Lexus and the olive tree in balance. For this new paperback edition, Friedman has substantially expanded and updated his provocative analysis, making it essential reading for all who care about how the world works now. 

More info about this book:

I have to admit that, there is some satisfactory when I could finished to read some book. One of the prove that, is when I finished to read The Lexus and The Olive Tree. Honestly, I read this book because of my subject’s assignment. Well, I am a little bit envy with my friends who get a thinner book and more interesting topic like identity and nationalism. Then, I have to satisfy with a globalization book. But, when I read this book, I could see another face of globalization and of course I didn’t regret get this book for my assignment.

The core argument of The Lexus and The Olive Tree is, Globalization is not only a trend or fads. It is an international system that displaces Cold War system. In this book, Friedman tried to explain many kind of impact caused by globalization. He said that globalization phenomenon can be analogue by the “Lexus” and the “Olive Tree”. In Friedman’s view, Lexus means some modernization that caused by globalization. With globalization that affects all of the people in this world; many people try to compete for the sake of better living standard. They would sacrifice all they have to get any better technology, lifestyle, etc. Then, the Olive Tree means the sense of home, community, or the place they are being. When someone tries so hard to catch any modernization, they will lose their sense of belonging to their community. In fact, their ‘nationalism’ will erode.

In my opinion, the way Friedman writes this book is understandable. I quite understand what he wants to deliver.  Moreover, he explains his opinion through his experience in many places, such as in Thailand, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc. So, this book looks like an autobiography book than text book. Of course, this kind of thing is something new for me. But, I have to admit too in some point, I felt bored. I just couldn’t enjoy some part. Another things that I realized when I read this book, is about American domination. I know that the globalization trend come from this country, but in my opinion, Friedman should not have to make this country much powerful and so on. I think, he has to look another country that, maybe, have the some power to get over globalization.

After all, The Lexus and The Olive Tree could be a good reference for student who looking for understanding globalization. There are so many perspective that they will get if they read this book. The point is, globalization is some phenomenon that we have to face. No matter what, this phenomenon would affect all of our live and inevitable. We have to be smart to face this phenomenon. 

3 stars for the competition of the Lexus and the Olive Tree.

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