Thank You for Being Late by Thomas L. Friedman
Pausing to Reflect on the Twenty-First Century

75%

12 Critic Reviews

What gives Friedman’s book a new twist is his belief that upheaval in 2016 is actually far more dramatic than earlier phases. That is partly because of accelerating technological change...
-Financial Times

Synopsis

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.

 

About Thomas L. Friedman

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Thomas L. Friedman is a three-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for his work with The New York Times and the author of six bestselling books, including The World Is Flat.
 
Published November 22, 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 496 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, History, Computers & Technology, Science & Math. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Dec 11 2016
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Thank You for Being Late
All: 12 | Positive: 11 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
on Sep 22 2016

The celebrated New York Times columnist diagnoses this unprecedented historical moment and suggests strategies for “resilience and propulsion” that will help us adapt...Required reading for a generation that’s “going to be asked to dance in a hurricane.”

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Publishers Weekly

Below average
on Apr 08 2017

Unfortunately, Friedman’s intriguing facts and ideas are all but buried under too many autobiographical anecdotes and lengthy recollections about the circumstances of interviews he conducted and research he completed, giving readers the recipe and history of all the ingredients along with the meal.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by John Micklethwait on Nov 22 2016

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.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by John Micklethwait on Nov 22 2016

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.

Read Full Review of Thank You for Being Late: Pau... | See more reviews from NY Times

The Sydney Morning Herald

Above average
Reviewed by Fiona Capp on Feb 06 2017

The fall-out from this paddle-jam remains to be seen, but given the nation's resounding 'No!" to the change Friedman seeks to embrace, it is hard to share the book's generally optimistic outlook.

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Seeking Alpha

Good
Reviewed by Hazel Henderson on Feb 10 2017

Thank You for Being Late: is Thomas Friedman's best book yet. Friedman combines his breathless optimism and journalistic personal style with a much more advanced critique of globalization than in his earlier books.

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Ploughshares Literary Magazine

Above average
Reviewed by Aaron Sommers on Jan 09 2017

After a divisive election season full of populism and rhetoric, he implores us to appreciate what we have instead of what we deserve. It’s a timely message, and he illustrates it remarkably with portraits of a world gone wrong.

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Executive Book Summaries

Above average
on Apr 19 2017

Given the illuminating insights and explorations in this book that emerged from such reflection, readers will be equally grateful that even in the age of accelerations there are some things that continue to slow people down.

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Rolling Stone

Above average
Reviewed by Matt Taibbi on Dec 02 2016

This must be that talent for "boiling things down" that Mr. Micklethwait talked about! God bless this man. May he never stop writing books.

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https://bookpage.com

Good
Reviewed by Sarah McCraw Crow on Nov 22 2016

Thank You for Being Late is vintage Friedman: clear-eyed on the world’s enormous problems, but optimistic about possible solutions.

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Financial Times

Above average
Reviewed by Gillian Tett on Nov 28 2016

What gives Friedman’s book a new twist is his belief that upheaval in 2016 is actually far more dramatic than earlier phases. That is partly because of accelerating technological change...

Read Full Review of Thank You for Being Late: Pau... | See more reviews from Financial Times

https://www.insidehighered.com

Good
Reviewed by Joshua Kim on Dec 05 2016

Thank You for Being Late goes a good job, I think, of making sense of many of the forces that will determine the economic and social success of the U.S. in the the decades to come. I like a dose of techno optimism mixed with a discussion of social, economic, and environmental policy.

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Reader Rating for Thank You for Being Late
86%

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