All Categories

The Lexus and the Olive Tree Understanding Globalization

Thomas L. Friedman




Trade Paperback

512 Pages



Request Desk Copy Request Exam Copy

A brilliant investigation of globalization, the most significant socioeconomic trend in the world today, and how it is affecting everything we do-economically, politically, and culturally-abroad and at home.

As foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman crisscrosses the globe talking with the world's economic and political leaders, and reporting, as only he can, on what he sees. Now he has used his years of experience as a reporter and columnist to produce a pithy, trenchant, riveting look at the worldwide market forces that are driving today's economies and how they are playing out both internationally and locally.

Globalization is the technologically driven expression of free-market capitalism, and as such is essentially an American creation. It has irrevocably changed the way business is done and has raised living standards throughout the world. But powerful local forces-of religion, race, ethnicity, and cultural identity-are in competition with technology for the hearts and minds of their societies. Finding the proper balance between the Lexus and the olive tree is the great game of globalization-and the ultimate theme of Friedman's challenging, provocative book, essential reading for all who care about how the world really works.


Praise for The Lexus and the Olive Tree

"Friedman knows how to cut through the arcana of high tech and high finance with vivid images and compelling analogies . . . He does not take the obvious for an answer, nor does he hype a historical triumph where there is only a tiny trend . . . This adds a fine intellectual edge to a delightfully readable book."—The New York Times Book Review

"Friedman has escaped the most serious occupational hazard for a writer on world affairs: the studiously airy, condescending, patrician tone . . . He has a born reporter's inextinguishable sense of the telling detail."—Nicholas Lemann, The New Yorker

"Through strategic use of the anecdote and the medium of the travelogue, Friedman has brought home the sweeping impact of globalization on the most remote comers of the world . . . It is hard to think of another book that succeeds so fully in drawing out [its] implications."—Foreign Affairs

"A powerful volume that comes as close to anything we now have to defining the character of the new world order."—Francis Fukuyama, New Statesman

"Lively . . . Anecdote-packed . . . Highly readable and thought-provoking."—Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Skillfully renders the mind-numbing abstractions of globalism into analogies, anecdotes, and metaphors."—Detroit Free Press

"Required reading . . . No one gives a better explanation of [globalization] than New York Times correspondent Thomas L. Friedman . . . Impressive."—The Christian Science Monitor

"Important . . . Friedman writes in straightforward language that should make globalization's complexities comprehensible. There's a great deal of wisdom in this book."—USA Today

"Friedman gets the economics right. His book is a wellspring of economic common sense that will inoculate its readers against the ‘globaloney' so prevalent in popular discussions of the subject."—Foreign Affairs

"Friedman convincingly argues that what creates wealth has suddenly changed . . . The Lexus and the Olive Tree makes alarmingly good sense; it educates and provokes."—The Baltimore Sun

"A lively mix of anecdote and analysis . . . full of solid reporting . . . Friedman is eager, provocative, [and] often entertaining . . . Insightful."—The Boston Globe

"There is hardly a page in The Lexus and the Olive Tree without an underlineable passage . . . Friedman has used his remarkable vantage point to provide a readable overview that no academic or narrow-beat reporter could have given us . . . A genuinely important book."—Salon

"Insight and eloquence characterize Friedman's foreign affairs columns in The New York Times and they elevate The Lexus and the Olive Tree. He has exceptionally good judgment and the energy of an intrepid traveler, so there is a street-truth to his arguments, illuminated with vivid stories."—Global Business Network

"A brilliant guidebook . . . Friedman's discussion is wonderfully accessible, clarifying the complex with enlightening stories that simplify but are never simplistic . . . Simply the best book yet written on globalization."—Kirkus Reviews

"So clearly written and with so many examples that one easily forgets that this is a book about economics . . . Well written, cogently argued. thought-provoking, and very highly recommended."—Library Journal

"Friedman looks at geopolitics through the lens of the international economy and boils the complexities of globalization down to pithy essentials . . . Writing with great clarity and broad understanding, he has set the standard for books purporting to teach Globalization 101."—Publishers Weekly



Read an Excerpt

The New System

What was it that Forrest Gump's mama liked to say? Life is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you're going to get inside. For me, an inveterate traveler and foreign correspondent, life...

Read the full excerpt


  • Thomas L. Friedman

  • Thomas L. Friedman's now-classic From Beirut to Jerusalem won the 1988 National Book Award and established him as America's leading interpreter of international affairs. Twice a Pulitzer Prize winner for his reportage, he lives in Washington, D.C.

  • Thomas L. Friedman Ralph Alswang
    Thomas L. Friedman