Extended Audio Sample

Download The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century Audiobook, by Thomas L. Friedman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.31 out of 53.31 out of 53.31 out of 53.31 out of 53.31 out of 5 3.31 (55 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas L. Friedman Narrator: Oliver Wyman Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2007 ISBN: 9781427201775
Regular Price: $29.99 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $20.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

When scholars write the history of the world twenty years from now, what will they say was the most crucial development in the first few years of the twenty-first century? The attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11 and the Iraq war? Or the convergence of technology and events that allowed India, China, and so many other countries to become part of the global supply chain for services and manufacturing, creating an explosion of wealth in the middle classes of the world's two biggest nations? And with this "flattening" of the globe, has the world gotten too small and too fast for human beings and their political systems to adjust in a stable manner?

Download and start listening now!

BK_AREN_000638

Quotes & Awards

  • “Excellent…[This book’s] insight is true and deeply important…The metaphor of a flat world, used by Friedman to describe the next phase of globalization, is ingenious.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Captivating…An enthralling read. To his great credit, Friedman embraces much of his flat world’s complexity, and his reporting brings to vibrant life some beguiling characters and trends…[The World is Flat] is also more lively, provocative, and sophisticated than the overwhelming bulk of foreign policy commentary these days. We’ve no real idea how the twenty-first century’s history will unfold, but this terrifically stimulating book will certainly inspire readers to start thinking it all through.”

    Washington Post

  • “No one today chronicles global shifts in simple and practical terms quite like Friedman. He plucks insights from his travels and the published press that can leave you spinning like a top. Or rather, a pancake.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “Friedman…nicely sums up the explosion of digital-technology advances during the past fifteen years and places the phenomenon in its global context…He never shrinks from the biggest problems and the thorniest issues.”

    BusinessWeek

  • “[The World is Flat] is filled with the kind of close reporting and intimate yet accessible analysis that have been hard to come by. Add in Friedman’s winning first-person interjections and masterful use of strategic wonksterisms, and this book should end up on the front seats of quite a few Lexuses and SUVs of all stripes.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • One of the 2005 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Winner of the 2006 Audie Award
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jean Marie Angelo | 2/20/2014

    " I liked some of these ideas--just don't love his writing style. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 JoAnn | 2/17/2014

    " A must read! It will change how you think about the USA's position in the world. And will tell you a lot about Walmart. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Fred White | 2/16/2014

    " The world systems, including economic, financial, manufacturing and technological systems, are becoming more fully integrated. Thomas Friedman identified many of the ways these various systems are becoming more global in nature. The details on global integration explained in the book are staggering. We are challenged to be more globally minded or miss the really important developments already taking place. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andy Chrestman | 2/15/2014

    " Great book, but the editor needs to grow some cajones and cut this thing down. As fascinating a storyteller Friedman is, the examples he used to illustrate some of his points became repetitive. Still a fascinating book from one of the most forward-thinking journalists out there. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lenny | 2/9/2014

    " Hard reading very intense book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori Grant | 2/6/2014

    " A should-read book for knowledge workers and entrepreneurs on concepts and trends. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Phil Greene | 2/3/2014

    " I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who's ever educated themselves beyond a 5 year-old's understanding of economics and globalization. Thomas Friedman is not an economist, and it is apparent as he writes this book. The repetitive anecdotes bored me and seemed slightly patronizing.. I've never been able to finish this book because it takes Friedman so long to get to any of his points, that I've already figured out what he's getting at by the end of the second page of a chapter.. That makes it hard to read on.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Masha Romashko | 1/31/2014

    " I like the way he broke down the information and gave us clear overview about business process around the world. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cassian | 1/30/2014

    " This book sucked as much as From Beirut to Jerusalem shone--clearly a difference in the author's familiarity with the region and US relationship. The World Is Flat ends up being a trite uninteresting stereotype. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily Miranda | 1/28/2014

    " "the lexus and the olive tree" drove me crazy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendy | 1/27/2014

    " Worth the read to get your eyes opened to how the world is changing "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kenfai | 1/26/2014

    " Great insight to the world. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Charles M. Rupert | 1/25/2014

    " Gave up on the second chapter. This book is a long wet kiss to capitalism. It's main idea is that advanced technology and globalization have really made the world perfectly level (hence the title) and that in this brave new world the dirty poor inner-city black kid with no school, no books, no access to even basic sanitation has no less advantages than the billionaire's kid with a private tutor, endless funds for education, and a guaranteed livelihood in the millions even if all they ever amount to is a beach-loafing drunk. Friedman's uncritical view of history is inaccurate right from the start when he repeats the apocryphal claim that attributes Columbus as the prover of the roundness of Earth to his story of the Soviet collapse as a mystery, it must have eroded on its own from internal inconsistencies. Drak. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yuri Genyk | 1/25/2014

    " So one mistake I made prior to reading the book was reading some of the reviews. Thought I look at ratings to help me decide which books to read, I believe reading the reviews can dangerously frame one's mind before page 1. At many points in the book did the negative criticisms warrant merit. He does coin terms rather freely and without consequence. And to be honest, many of the terms make no sense or are cop-outs. I was impressed with his anecdotal stories but disappointed with his attempts to characterize/categorize them under his simple buckets of globalization. I agree he does have a very optimistic view of this flattening world but many of his examples only showed the positives. And he constantly reiterates many points to beat it in your head. However, I give it 4 stars under the context that he's a reporter. He wrote what many of us have failed to see up to this point. And I thank Friedman for at least trying to make sense of this force and its impacts so far at critical parts of the world. It is up to us, not Friedman (remember, just a reporter) to further delve into this matter and see what else is at play. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Xyln | 1/23/2014

    " Quiet good! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heikki | 1/22/2014

    " Boring as hell, but with much substance. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert Davis | 1/20/2014

    " A series of interesting anecdotes about globalization with a lot of research to back it up. Fascinating for anyone interested in Globalization. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Angela | 1/19/2014

    " Friedman could have summed up his theory in 100 pages or less! This book was tedious and repetitive. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Bryan | 1/19/2014

    " Bad title! Bad premise! Bad writing! Lack of sources and an overabundance of generalities make this a horrible and dangerous read. Read GK Chesterton's work All Things Considered for a better more realistic view of things. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mandi Lee | 1/14/2014

    " This is a fun read, especially if you are into techy things. I now feel as though I really understand where the internet came from. It's a good book for getting a grasp on worldmarkets and the global economy. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Bryan | 1/9/2014

    " Bad title! Bad premise! Bad writing! Lack of sources and an overabundance of generalities make this a horrible and dangerous read. Read GK Chesterton's work All Things Considered for a better more realistic view of things. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frank Gruver | 1/8/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book and suggest others read it too. For me the book talks about the globalization, outsourcing a understandable read that makes it a captivating book to read. Enjoy "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Anne | 12/27/2013

    " I couldn't finish this book. It was a struggle for me to even get through the first 100 pages. Friedman makes some valid points, but most of it seems like common sense. If you've studied basic econ then you already know the main themes in this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Megan | 12/13/2013

    " Excellent ideas. Thought provoking. But I didn't make it to the end. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Walker Yeatman | 10/15/2013

    " I'm gonna have to reread this, but I remember thinking that this was the worst book ever written ever in the entirety of our long and sordid stint on this earth when I read it in highschool. I expect that it'll be worse the second time around, but really, you never know. But this time I probably do. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lisette | 10/2/2013

    " I started and never finish it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniel Morris | 9/5/2013

    " The first 2/3 of this are great, but the point is made clearly by then. After that Mr. Friedman decides the last 1/3rd should be Bush bashing - which wasn't an entirely practical use of my time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 8/6/2013

    " This was a fascinating look at how all the changes in the world have altered our world economically. Taxes done in India, computer programming in China, the world that the Boomers grew up no longer exists and we should be prepare our children and their children for the fallout. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynne | 6/21/2013

    " Glad to have read this. Having read and thought about globalization I'm more inclined to think on a global scale. This book gave me a lot a think about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cheryl | 6/9/2013

    " Wow. This is a long book. I enjoyed the content very much although I felt like I was reading the same anecdotal material over and over again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Arpan Chatterjee | 4/15/2013

    " A must read for the folks who are inquisitive to know the future of World economy & the direction it's headed to. Surprisingly, the narrative can be easily grasped by the the masses. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ferdyansyah Putra | 1/26/2013

    " serasa jadi orang dusun banget pas baca nih buku.....ternyata dunia udah kayak gitu....... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alberta | 12/10/2012

    " For the most part, a good book about economic issues. I learn some new things while reading this book about how really flat the world is. The last 60 pages or so I lost interest in it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth Egan | 11/24/2011

    " THE MUST READS OF THIS TIME "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Johannes | 11/4/2011

    " I read the previous edition. Was one of these revelations. How our world is just different now and how distance has in some way disappeared. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jesse | 11/1/2011

    " Probably closer to a 3.5 or so, but... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bjorn Hardarson | 9/4/2011

    " "It is a great book on how the world is getting smaller, how to think and behave in the new flat world. There is also great materials on companies how they are improving and working on the flat world" "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherrie | 8/12/2011

    " My friends and family are tired of me raving about this book. No book has ever changed the way I look at today--and tomorrow's--world like this one. If it doesn't do the same to you, you aren't reading it carefully enough. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ks Pillai | 8/5/2011

    " A Good book on understanding new economy and social structures "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim | 7/2/2011

    " Had to read this for school and was interesting and thought provoking. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tara | 5/9/2011

    " The future is bright. A cool summary of where we have been, where we are and where we are going all thanks to the internet. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ebersmoll | 5/1/2011

    " I brought it because i loved his "From Beirut to Jerusalem". I am expecting the same narrative here. It is more or less working good till now, but he should not have got in to explaining AJAX and Netscape. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mimi | 4/23/2011

    " Need to read it again for everything to sink in. Enjoy his style. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bill | 4/19/2011

    " Very interesting stuff. I like Friedman's ideas, but the book seemed to go on and on.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ginny | 4/14/2011

    " A good read about how globalization has occurred in the 21st century - who knew the Postal Service could fix computers instead of sending them to computer companies? (This kid at least didn't.) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 4/1/2011

    " THE MUST READS OF THIS TIME "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sebastiano | 3/25/2011

    " Change the way I think about the world today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ian Hardouin | 6/24/2010

    " Good summation of the effects that globalization and the Internet inflicted on Western civilization through 2006. A bit dated now. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeff - ISB Utecht | 5/31/2010

    " The book that started a conversation that we're still having today. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kimberlee | 7/31/2009

    " I'm not super interested in economics, but it was interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anju | 5/30/2009

    " A very good analysis, liked it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsay | 4/7/2009

    " So many important ideas... so poorly written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve | 6/10/2008

    " Must reading for anyone who wants to understand the 21st Century world: social, political, and economic realities. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kw Estes | 1/20/2008

    " Couldn't get past page 100. Sorry, Tommy old boy, we're just going to have to agree to disagree. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dan | 12/25/2007

    " Don't remember much of it. Couldn't finish it. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Thomas L. Friedman

Thomas L. Friedman has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize three times for his work with the New York Times as a foreign affairs columnist. Popular with a large range of readers, his book Hot, Flat, and Crowded was an international bestseller. He is also the author of From Beirut to Jerusalem, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Longitudes and Attitudes, and The World Is Flat. He currently lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

About the Narrator

Oliver Wyman is an actor and award-winning audiobook narrator. His first full-length audiobook, It’s Not about the Bike, won an Audie Award. Quickly renowned for his versatility, he went on to win several Audie Awards and seventeen AudioFile Earphones Awards in genres ranging from drama and humor to nonfiction and children’s stories.