Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Some links about Flatman's world

A couple of months ago, I picked up 'The World is flat' at the neighborhood Borders and attempted to read it. The book soon earned the distinction of being the only book that I have returned to any store ever. I tried to round-up all the reviews about the book that I could find to see what people really thought about it. Thankfully, I was quite happy to discover that other than the usual suspects, everyone was more or less of the same opinion - For the most part, Tom doesn't know what he's talking about. Period.

Via Locana, I came across Siddharth Varadarajan's review of the book that appeared in The Hindu Book Review. It is one of the most informative reviews that I have read and provides us with some interesting links. Like this really funny Matt Taibbi one! (Aside: The only problem I have with Taibbi is that for all his talk about how Friedman gets it wrong, he doesn't get his facts right. Taibbi actually says somewhere in the middle of this piece that Columbus discovered that the earth was round. Which leads me to believe that Freidman, despite all his faults, got something right - the American educational system definitely needs to be revamped.)

My favorite review of Flatman's book actually appeared in The Guardian sometime ago. The reviewer Richard Adams compares our man's works to the kind of books that Alden Pyle, Greene's quiet American used to carry. Adams quotes Zadie Smith, who in her introduction to the quiet American, said of Pyle "his worldly innocence is a kind of fundamentalism". Only in this case, our modern-day Pyle is not really quiet. He is the PR man behind a thousand quiet Americans who are "impregnably armed by good intentions and ignorance". Quiet Americans in modern-day Vietnams.

2 comments:

Old Path said...

Thank you. You just saved my $16.50.

uma said...

great post, veena.