There may be no more obvious popular book to review for the first issue of a journal on rhetoric, professional communication, and globalization than Thomas L. Friedman’s The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century. Friedman, bestselling author of The Lexus and the Olive Tree, attempts to demystify globalization and suggest ways that governments and corporations will need to quickly adjust in an increasingly competitive market environment. Consistently as ambitious as the title suggests, Friedman’s book describes much of interest to technical communicators, especially those of us who just can’t travel enough to see things first hand as we’d like to. The beauty of Friedman’s book, for me, lies in his entertaining descriptions of scenes that I could only have imagined: the reminiscences of the programmers who developed the first Web servers; the chatter at a computer customer service call center in India; the view from a Bangalore corporate campus golf course; and interviews with Colin Powell’s staff and Georgia Tech’s president. As a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Friedman is a gifted rhetor and a skillful storyteller.

Included in

Rhetoric Commons