Thomas Friedman Introduced Or Popularized 21st Century Globalization to Americans

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman was one of the biggest promoters of the global economy and modern globalization with his articles, lectures, and two books, The Lexis and the Olive Tree (1999) and The Earth is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century (2005).

This was not the first time in history that globalization became a big deal. Yale University has a center that studies globalization and traces the history of globalization. There are a number of videos that explain globalization.

This Crash Course video equates the early stages of globalization with collective learning. Three things accelerated early globalization: printing, potatoes and the Plague.

Historical trends toward globalization began, of course, with the ages of exploration and colonialism, followed by the age of empires. The European land empires — Austria-Hungary, Ottomans — collapsed during and after World War I, and the European maritime empires — Britain, France — collapsed after World War II. This was followed by the bipolar Cold War — intense competition between capitalism and communism, the US and the USSR — which ended in 1990. This was followed by European economic integration and what Friedman called global economic integration, which raised the living standards of the world.

Nearly 30 years later, however, doubts about globalization deepen with an influx of immigrants from Africa and the Middle East into Europe, from Central and South America into the United States, a massive concentration of wealth in the hands of a relatively few global oligarchs, and rising economic inequality.  What can be done about these trends?

British voters chose Brexit in 2015, to withdraw from the European Union, but is having great trouble working out the details. There has been a resurgence of right-wing reactionary forces in Europe expressing resentment toward immigrants.

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