Thomas Friedman’s new book – “That used to be US”

Working my way through Thomas Friedman‘s new book – you remember, the author who wrote Hot, Flat & Crowded and of course the ubiquitous World is Flat. As with both of the previous books, he has a knack for writing about what is, for many living in Asia, glaringly obvious but writes with such a rich seam of global examples. Whether those anecdotes are from Shanghai or Bangalore or Iowa etc, it is the comparative data from these that make the book convincing as well as gripping – I read half of it on the flight from Bhutan to Bangalore and plan to finish it over this weekend.

This book is very specifically about the USA, and is intended as a wake up call as to how it has fallen behind on the global stage in education, industry, innovation – and many other ways has fallen from its perch as informal global leader. Sitting in Asia, that’s clear – but as a European, it draws into even more disappointing focus the way that Europe has fallen away to almost anachronistic status over the past decades.

Well worth a read, and another good one to go with Lynda Gratton’s “The Shift” – to add to our thoughts, and importantly, actions in relation to the future for individuals and economies over the next decade.

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