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Thank You for Being Late

An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations (Version 2.0, With a New Afterword)

Thomas L. Friedman

Picador

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ISBN10: 1250141222
ISBN13: 9781250141224

Trade Paperback

560 Pages

$18.00

CA$25.00

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A field guide to the twenty-first century, written by one of its most celebrated observers

In this new book, Thomas L. Friedman exposes the tectonic movements that are reshaping the world today and explains how to get the most out of them and cushion their worst impacts. You will never look at the world the same way again after you read this book: how you understand the news, the work you do, the education your students need, the investments your employer has to make, and the moral and geopolitical choices our country has to navigate will all be refashioned by Friedman’s original analysis. His thesis: to understand the twenty-first century, you need to understand that the planet’s three largest forces—Moore’s law (technology); the Market (globalization); and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss)—are accelerating all at once. These accelerations are transforming five key realms: the workplace, politics, geopolitics, ethics, and community. Thank You for Being Late is a work of contemporary history that serves as a field manual for how to write and think about this era of accelerations. It’s also an argument for “being late”—for pausing to appreciate this amazing historical epoch we’re passing through and reflecting on its possibilities and dangers. Friedman shows that we can overcome the multiple stresses of an age of accelerations—if we slow down, if we dare to be late and use the time to reimagine work, politics, and community. This is Friedman’s most ambitious book—and an essential guide to the present and the future.

Reviews

Praise for Thank You for Being Late

"Thomas L. Friedman is a self-­confessed 'explanatory journalist'—whose goal is to be a 'translator from English to English.' And he is extremely good at it . . . it is hard to think of any other journalist who has explained as many complicated subjects to so many people . . . Now he has written his most ambitious book—part personal odyssey, part commonsense manifesto . . . As a guide for perplexed Westerners, this book is very hard to beat . . . Thank You for Being Late is a master class in explaining . . . As usual with Friedman, it is all backed up by pages of serious reporting from around the world . . . After your session with Dr. Friedman, you have a much better idea of the forces that are upending your world, how they work together—and what people, companies and governments can do to prosper. You do have a coherent narrative—an honest, cohesive explanation for why the world is the way it is, without miracle cures or scapegoats. And that is why everybody should hope this book does very well indeed."—John Micklethwait, The New York Times Book Review

"[An] ambitious book . . . In a country torn by a divisive election, technological change and globalization, reconstructing social ties so that people feel respected and welcomed is more important than ever . . . Rather than build walls, [healthy communities] face their problems and solve them. In [Friedman's] telling, this is the way to make America great."—Laura Vanderkam, The Wall Street Journal

"Engaging . . . in some senses Thank You For Being Late is an extension of [Friedman's] previous works, woven in with wonderful personal stories (including admirably honest discussions about the nature of being a columnist). What gives Friedman’s book a new twist is his belief that upheaval in 2016 is actually far more dramatic than earlier phases . . . Friedman also argues that Americans need to discover their sense of 'community,' and uses his home town of Minneapolis to demonstrate this. In two of the most engaging chapters, the author returns to the town and explains how it has created a relatively inclusive, harmonious and pragmatic style of government . . . It is a wonderful sentiment. And it injects a badly needed dose of optimism into the modern debate."—Gillian Tett, Financial Times

"The globe-trotting New York Times columnist’s most famous book was about the world being flat. This one is all about the world being fast . . . His main piece of advice for individuals, corporations, and countries is clear: Take a deep breath and adapt. This world isn’t going to wait for you."—Fortune

"[Friedman's] latest engrossingly descriptive analysis of epic trends and their consequences . . . Friedman offers tonic suggestions for fostering 'moral innovation' and a commitment to the common good in this detailed and clarion inquiry, which, like washing dirty windows, allows us to see far more clearly what we’ve been looking at all along . . . his latest must-read."—Booklist (starred review)

"The three-time Pulitzer winner puts his familiar methodology—extensive travel, thorough reporting, interviews with the high-placed movers and shakers, conversations with the lowly moved and shaken—to especially good use here . . . He prescribes nothing less than a redesign of our workplaces, politics, geopolitics, ethics, and communities . . . Required reading for a generation that's 'going to be asked to dance in a hurricane.'"Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

BOOK EXCERPTS

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ONE

Thank You for Being Late


Everyone goes into journalism for different reasons—and they’re often idealistic ones. There are investigative journalists, beat reporters, breaking-news reporters, and explanatory...

About the author

Thomas L. Friedman

THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN is a recipeint of the American Bar Association's D'Alemberte-Raven Award for outstanding service in dispute resolution, and a three-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for his work with The New York Times. He is the author of several bestselling books, including The World Is Flat.

Ralph Alswang

Thomas Friedman at The New York Times