Scathing Book Reviews of The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman

The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman isn’t exactly Airport Reading, but that’s where I bought my copy.  Unfortunately, while I found the back cover blurb interesting and the introduction well written, I found that I couldn’t dig into the book the way I expected.  I attributed this to the environment of the Airport, but even at home, I find it to be pretty dry reading, and not particularly enlightening.

When I do read it, I tend to skip around within it, sort of like I do with The Discoverers.  I know that there are hundreds of glowing reviews, but even though I’ve read many books and articles discussing the same topic, I just find Friedman’s tough to get through, and less convinced than he is about what his “findings” mean.  Perhaps its becaus I lack his perspective, but he seems to be awfully sure of his positions.  These Scathing Book Reviews of The World is Flat think it lacks fizz:

This book will be a revelation to anyone who has been without access to newspapers or cable TV for the past 10 years.

…and:

…As each longwinded chapter unfolded more and more evidence presented itself as proof that this book is all filler. It reads like the publisher paid by the word alone.

..and:

I’ve always hated Friedman. He writes with a manic quality that dodges left and right around inconvenient details or moral evaluations. He simultaneously believes that history has a purpose AND that those who oppose anything that happens in the world are being head-in-the-sanders and obstructionists. He’s an ‘anti-normativist’–if something in the world happens, then, according to Friedman, it was clearly meant to happen and is surely for the best.
 

…and:

I’m not sure how the author can possibly be so fascinated by technology and yet know absolutely nothing about it at the same time, but his endless diatribes about the miracles of PayPal and Microsoft Word are beyond laughable, and I was pretty much in shock when he started citing howstuffworks-dot-com as a technical reference on fiber optics and SOAP.

…and:

Friedman is a quack. He’s made a cottage industry of describing the obvious. There’s nothing serious about his work, whether it’s professional, academic or other.

…and:

It is a mark of Friedman’s approach and personality that he dates the beginning of “Flat World”  phenomena to a few years ago, when he discovered them.

…and:

Outsource Punditry Now. The average call center worker in Bangalore can write a better book than this.

…and:

Horrible book and a waste of money that could have been better spent on some worth while. Maybe the “National Enquirer.”

Book Reviews of Who Moved My Cheese, by Spencer Johnson

Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson is a book that was given out at my company – you guessed it – immediately prior to a series of layoffs. I evaded that series of layoffs, only to join the ranks of the “formerly employed” after September 11th (I worked for a company that was heavy into Business Travel, natch.

I got it, read it, kept it for awhile and I guess I threw it away awhile back. I remember “Who Moved My Cheese” as being an inoffensive but ineffective book, with a simple message – change will happen and you can’t stay still, which is something I already knew prior to getting the book. I sure as heck don’t remember it being helpful to me while I was laid off.

Anyway, Spencer Johnson certainly benefited by it, but these reviewers think there’s a scent of Limburger arising from “Who Moved My Cheese”:

Never have I come closer to the mind crushing monotony and impersonality of corporate America than when I read this book….It’s patronizing, shallow, insipid, and still manages to be patently insulting to those employees who might actually be capable of analytical thought. That’s quite a feat.

…and:

It teaches that you must accept change without regard to whether it is appropriate it not. It teaches that you must not struggle, you must not fight. You must simply accept whatever change happens. This is the perfect book to distribute when a company is going through reorganization.

…and:

Who moved your cheese? I’ll tell you who moved your cheese! Your company’s accountants moved your cheese. And they ain’t gonna move it back, no matter what you do.

…and:

The one saving grace about this book is it’s a quick read. I finished it in 23 minutes.

…and:
In the game show of life, “Who Moved My Cheese?” is Corporate America’s final answer to the lovely parting gift. Spencer Johnson’s book is the literary equivalent of giving an amputee victim a band-aid for his boo-boo.

…and:

The Berenstein Bears of Self-Help Strike Again

…and:

If corporate America’s new trend is reading children’s books they would be better served rereading and analyzing Dr. Seuss’ The Sneetches and Other Stories.

…and a great Top 10 list of alternate titles from Amazon Reviewer Kevin Morrill:


#10 “Don’t Take It Personally, Thousands Of People Get Fired Everyday”
#9 “It’s Never Easy Letting Valuable Employees Such As Yourself Go, Bill, I mean, Bob”
#8 “Cheer Up! Nobody Here Liked You Anyway”
#7 “Let Me Say Once Again, The Shareholders Really Appreciate This”
#6 “Hey, You Can Sleep In Now”
#5 “Think Of It This Way: You’re Now In A Lower Tax Bracket”
#4 “It’s Not Like You Lost Your Job…Okay, So You Lost Your Job”
#3 “Look On The Bright Side- You’re Helping Someone Less Fortunate In A Third World Country”
#2 “At Least You’ve Still Got Your Health (Minus The Ulcer, Of Course)”
And my #1 title: “It Could Be Worse, It Could Be Me!”