This summer, I have read three books that I recommend as a group to anyone who wants to understand the underlying currents of globalization and the new world order that is taking shape as a result. They are The Lexus and the Olive Tree, by Thomas L. Friedman, The End of History and the Last Man, by Francis Fukuyama, and The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, by Samuel P. Huntington. Each author has his own approach, premises, and conclusions, but a common thread is that nothing will ever be the same as we have known it since the end of World War II. In fact, the transformation is much broader and deeper, for it touches on the theme of Toffler’s The Third Wave, which is that we are living in the third major overhaul of human society. Whether you conclude with Fukuyama that the victory of liberal democracy represents the end product of man’s evolutionary progress, with Huntington that the world will be governed by a plurality of civilizations that are grounded in timeless cultures, or with Friedman that no culture will be immune to the “golden straitjacket” of technology-driven globalization, these readings will convince you that it will be a bumpy ride and we’re all in this together.
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