Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Book summary and reviews of Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas L. Friedman

Hot, Flat, and Crowded

Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America

by Thomas L. Friedman

Hot, Flat, and Crowded

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Book Summary

“Green is the new red, white, and blue,” Friedman declares, and proposes that an ambitious national strategy--which he calls geo-greenism--is not only what we need to save the planet from overheating, it is what we need to make America healthier, richer, more innovative, more productive, and more secure in the coming E.C.E.--the Energy-Climate Era. Green-oriented practices and technologies, established at scale everywhere from Washington to Wal-Mart, are both the only way to mitigate climate change and the best way for America to “get its groove back”--to “reknit America at home, reconnect America abroad, retool America for the new century, and restore America to its natural place in the global order.”

As in The World Is Flat and his previous bestseller The Lexus and the Olive Tree, he explains the future we are facing through an illuminating account of recent events. He explains how 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the flattening of the world by the Internet, which has brought three billion new consumers onto the world stage, have combined to bring the climate and energy issues to main street. But they have not really gone down main street yet. Indeed, it is Friedman’s view that we are not really having the green revolution that the press keeps touting, or, if we are, "it is the only revolution in history," he says, "where no one got hurt." No, to the contrary, argues Friedman, we’re actually having a "green party." We have not even begun to be serious yet about the speed and scale of change that is required.

With all that in mind, Friedman lays out his argument that if we are going to avoid the worst disruptions looming before us as we enter the Energy-Climate Era, we are going to need several disruptive breakthroughs in the clean-technology sphere--disruptive in the transformational sense. He explores what enabled the disruptive breakthroughs that created the IT (Information Technology) revolution that flattened the world in information terms and then shows how a similar set of disruptive breakthroughs could spark the ET--Energy Technology--revolution. Time and again, though, Friedman shows why it is both necessary and desirous for America to lead this revolution--with the first green president, a green New Deal, and spurred by the Greenest Generation--and why meeting the green challenge of the twenty-first century could transform America every bit as meeting the Red challenge, that of Communism, did in the twentieth century.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Readers who have been paying attention to Fareed Zakaria, Jared Diamond or similar writers know most of this, but still the word has been slow getting out. Many others have written about these subjects, but few enjoy Friedman's audience, so it's good that he's turning to such matters, if a touch belatedly." - Kirkus Reviews.

"Recognizing the looming threat of “petrodicatorship” and U.S. dependence on imported oil, this warning salvo presents a stirring and far-darker vision than Friedman’s earlier books." - Publishers Weekly.

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Author Information

Thomas L. Friedman Author Biography

Thomas L. Friedman, a world-renowned author and journalist, joined The New York Times in 1981 as a financial reporter specializing in OPEC- and oil-related news and later served as the chief diplomatic, chief White House, and international economics correspondents. A three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, he has traveled hundreds of thousands of miles reporting the Middle East conflict, the end of the cold war, U.S. domestic politics and foreign policy, international economics, and the worldwide impact of the terrorist threat. His foreign affairs column, which appears twice a week in the Times, is syndicated to seven hundred other newspapers worldwide.

Friedman is the author of From Beirut to Jerusalem (FSG, 1989), which won both the National Book Award and the Overseas ...

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Other books by Thomas L. Friedman at BookBrowse
  • The World Is Flat jacket
  • The Lexus and The Olive Tree jacket
  • Longitudes and Attitudes jacket
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