Lexus and the Olive Tree Summary

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The Lexus and the Olive Tree, written by Thomas L. Friedman, investigates the phenomenon of globalization in our world and how it has established a new international system that has replaced the cold war. This new system of globalization connects people from all over the world from Southeast Asians fighting a recession to Thai bankers to entrepreneurs in the United States. Friedman credits that the democratization of technology, information, and finance has shrunk our world from small to tiny where people all over the world can now transfer information cheaper, deeper, and faster. The walls that once separated our world have now been torn down with the development of the Internet and the television. Friedman uses the Lexus and the olive tree to symbolizes the balance that a country or company must maintain in order to thrive. The Lexus represents modernization and technology the olive tree represents the uniqueness in communities. It signifies the core values that are dependable and solid. Societies must aim for the Lexus but should recognize the need for the olive tree. According to Friedman, “globalization is the inevitable integration of markets, nation-states and technologies to a degree never witnessed before – in a way that is enabling individuals, corporations and nation-states to reach around the world farther, faster, deeper, and cheaper than ever before and in a way that is enabling the world to reach into individuals, corporations, and nation-states, farther, faster and deeper, cheaper than ever before.” (XXXXX) The book is broken up into four major sections. The first section of the book explains today’s globalization system and how it functions. The second section explains how countries, communities, companies, and individuals interact with the system. The third section is dedicated to those who are against globalization, or the “backlashers.” Finally, the fourth section explains the role of the US and how we should be functioning and...
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