How would you summarize this book to people who are not experts in globalization? For example a group of interested college students? What would be the most important points in this book to touch...

How would you summarize this book to people who are not experts in globalization? For example a group of interested college students?

What would be the most important points in this book to touch on?

Specifically point out the pages or chapters in the book that would be key to review.

Asked on by p100r109

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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You make a good point here with your many-faceted question.  This book is mostly an explanation of how globalization is changing humanity, so people not well versed in globalization would do well to listen closely to the anecdotes that Friedman gives so that they can understand the concept better. 

Probably the best example is Friedman's visit to Japan to visit the Lexus factory.  This is the story that prompts the title of the book as well which makes it even more important.  Friedman is incredibly impressed with the Lexus factory in Japan because every single minute detail put on the car is done by the expert arms of robots who are incapable of making a mistake.  A perfect luxury vehicle is the result.  It is on the way back from this visit that Friedman reads an article about the fighting in the Middle East and is amazed that while the Japanese have mastered globalization (exemplified by the Lexus), the Middle Easterners are still fighting over ownership of olive trees.  Friedman allows the Japanese and the Middle Easterners to represent two segments of humanity: one for globalization and one for localization.  Here is how Friedman describes it:

What we are looking at and for is how the age-old quests for material betterment and for individual and community identity—which go all the way back to Genesis—play themselves out in today’s dominant international system of globalization.

So, as you can see, I have already touched on the answer to your two questions.  These are the most important points to touch upon, especially considering the title of the book.  The quotation above is perfect to explain Friedman's theory and, further, you could read (or assign) the actual story of his trip to the Lexus factory in Japan as a perfect excerpt.  All in all, these are ways to make this book palatable for those of us less familiar with globalization.

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