Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations

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9780374273538: Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations

A New York Times Bestseller

A field guide to the twenty-first century, written by one of its most celebrated observers

We all sense it―something big is going on. You feel it in your workplace. You feel it when you talk to your kids. You can’t miss it when you read the newspapers or watch the news. Our lives are being transformed in so many realms all at once―and it is dizzying.
In Thank You for Being Late, a work unlike anything he has attempted before, Thomas L. Friedman exposes the tectonic movements that are reshaping the world today and explains how to get the most out of them and cushion their worst impacts. You will never look at the world the same way again after you read this book: how you understand the news, the work you do, the education your kids need, the investments your employer has to make, and the moral and geopolitical choices our country has to navigate will all be refashioned by Friedman’s original analysis.
Friedman begins by taking us into his own way of looking at the world―how he writes a column. After a quick tutorial, he proceeds to write what could only be called a giant column about the twenty-first century. His thesis: to understand the twenty-first century, you need to understand that the planet’s three largest forces―Moore’s law (technology), the Market (globalization), and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss)―are accelerating all at once. These accelerations are transforming five key realms: the workplace, politics, geopolitics, ethics, and community.
Why is this happening? As Friedman shows, the exponential increase in computing power defined by Moore’s law has a lot to do with it. The year 2007 was a major inflection point: the release of the iPhone, together with advances in silicon chips, software, storage, sensors, and networking, created a new technology platform. Friedman calls this platform “the supernova”―for it is an extraordinary release of energy that is reshaping everything from how we hail a taxi to the fate of nations to our most intimate relationships. It is creating vast new opportunities for individuals and small groups to save the world―or to destroy it.
Thank You for Being Late is a work of contemporary history that serves as a field manual for how to write and think about this era of accelerations. It’s also an argument for “being late”―for pausing to appreciate this amazing historical epoch we’re passing through and to reflect on its possibilities and dangers. To amplify this point, Friedman revisits his Minnesota hometown in his moving concluding chapters; there, he explores how communities can create a “topsoil of trust” to anchor their increasingly diverse and digital populations.
With his trademark vitality, wit, and optimism, Friedman shows that we can overcome the multiple stresses of an age of accelerations―if we slow down, if we dare to be late and use the time to reimagine work, politics, and community. Thank You for Being Late is Friedman’s most ambitious book―and an essential guide to the present and the future.

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About the Author:

Thomas L. Friedman is a three-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for his work with The New York Times and the author of several bestselling books, including The World Is Flat.

Review:

One of The Wall Street Journal's 10 Books to Read Now
One of Kirkus Reviews's Best Nonfiction Books of the Year
One of Publishers Weekly's Most Anticipated Books of the Year
Longlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

"Thomas L. Friedman is a self-­confessed 'explanatory journalist'―whose goal is to be a 'translator from English to English.' And he is extremely good at it . . . it is hard to think of any other journalist who has explained as many complicated subjects to so many people . . . Now he has written his most ambitious book―part personal odyssey, part commonsense manifesto . . . As a guide for perplexed Westerners, this book is very hard to beat . . . Thank You for Being Late is a master class in explaining . . . As usual with Friedman, it is all backed up by pages of serious reporting from around the world . . . After your session with Dr. Friedman, you have a much better idea of the forces that are upending your world, how they work together―and what people, companies and governments can do to prosper. You do have a coherent narrative―an honest, cohesive explanation for why the world is the way it is, without miracle cures or scapegoats. And that is why everybody should hope this book does very well indeed." ―John Micklethwait, The New York Times Book Review

"[An] ambitious book . . . In a country torn by a divisive election, technological change and globalization, reconstructing social ties so that people feel respected and welcomed is more important than ever . . . Rather than build walls, [healthy communities] face their problems and solve them. In [Friedman's] telling, this is the way to make America great." ―Laura Vanderkam, The Wall Street Journal

"Engaging . . . in some senses Thank You For Being Late is an extension of [Friedman's] previous works, woven in with wonderful personal stories (including admirably honest discussions about the nature of being a columnist). What gives Friedman’s book a new twist is his belief that upheaval in 2016 is actually far more dramatic than earlier phases . . . Friedman also argues that Americans need to discover their sense of 'community,' and uses his home town of Minneapolis to demonstrate this. In two of the most engaging chapters, the author returns to the town and explains how it has created a relatively inclusive, harmonious and pragmatic style of government . . . It is a wonderful sentiment. And it injects a badly needed dose of optimism into the modern debate." ―Gillian Tett, Financial Times

"The globe-trotting New York Times columnist’s most famous book was about the world being flat. This one is all about the world being fast . . . His main piece of advice for individuals, corporations, and countries is clear: Take a deep breath and adapt. This world isn’t going to wait for you." ―Fortune

"[A] humane and empathetic book." ―David Henkin, The Washington Post

"[Friedman's] latest engrossingly descriptive analysis of epic trends and their consequences . . . Friedman offers tonic suggestions for fostering 'moral innovation' and a commitment to the common good in this detailed and clarion inquiry, which, like washing dirty windows, allows us to see far more clearly what we’ve been looking at all along . . . his latest must-read." ―Booklist (starred review)

"The three-time Pulitzer winner puts his familiar methodology―extensive travel, thorough reporting, interviews with the high-placed movers and shakers, conversations with the lowly moved and shaken―to especially good use here . . . He prescribes nothing less than a redesign of our workplaces, politics, geopolitics, ethics, and communities . . . Required reading for a generation that's 'going to be asked to dance in a hurricane.'" Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: New. In Thank You for Being Late, his most ambitious work to date, Thomas L. Friedman shows that we have entered an age of dizzying acceleration--and explains how to live in it. Due to an exponential increase in computing power, climbers atop Mount Everest enjoy excellent cell phone service, and self-driving cars are taking to the roads. A parallel explosion of economic interdependency has created new riches as well as spiraling debt burdens. Meanwhile, Mother Nature is also seeing dramatic change as carbon levels rise and species go extinct, with compounding results.How do these changes interact, and how can we cope with them? To get a better purchase on the present, Friedman returns to his Minnesota childhood and sketches a world where politics worked and joining the middle class was an achievable goal. Today, by contrast, it is easier than ever to be a maker (try 3D printing) or a breaker (the Islamic State excels at using Twitter), but harder than ever to be a leader or merely "average." He concludes that nations and individuals must learn to be fast (innovative and quick to adapt), fair (prepared to help the casualties of change), and slow (adept at shutting out the noise and accessing their deepest values). With vision, authority, and wit, Friedman has established a blueprint for how to think about our times. Bookseller Inventory # 5356793

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