Longitudes & Attitudes is made up of Friedman's New York Times columns, as well as a diary of his private experiences and reflections as he travels to Europe, the Mideast, and the Far East. He talks with the major players in the story and men and women in the street as he develops and refines his unique perspective on the new kind of war America finds itself fighting. And he helps us to understand who "they" are, and reassures us about who "we" are.
In the author's words, the result is "a 'word album' that captures and preserves the raw, unpolished emotional and analytical responses that illustrate how I, and others, felt as we tried to grapple with September 11 and its aftermath as it continues to unfold." More than any other journalist writing today, Friedman gives voice to America's awakening sense of a radically new world and our own complex place in it.
©2002 Thomas L. Friedman; (P)2002 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
"This will no doubt, like his previous books, appear on best seller lists." (Publishers Weekly)
"Sharply pointed, finely delivered observations...essential reading for anyone keeping track on world events over the last year." (Kirkus Reviews)
I cannot say I agreed with all (or even most) of the author's positions. And I found some of them rather disengenuous. But it was well worth reading! Not only were the ideas clearly and interestingly presented, but this book made me think about some things I never considered before and made me want to learn more. What more, really, can you ask of a commentary?
This audiobook consists of two parts. The first is of New York Times Foreign Affairs Columnist Thomas Friedman reading a series of his own columns. In the second part, Friedman reads his own personal diary, which covers the travels, personal reflection, interviews, and discussions that Friedman used to further his personal understanding and write these columns.
As a longtime reader of Friedman's columns, it was exciting for me to hear the passionate and articulate voice behind the writing, and to understand how the author develops his ideas. I gained an understanding of the mechanics of repression, religious fundamentalism, and violence in today's world, and was impressed by Friedman's ideas on the way forward.
I also gained a clearer sense of what it means to be a modern American patriot. Friedman's patriotism incorporates a deep respect for ethnic, religious, and cultural diversity; a broad compassion for the world's peoples and their struggles; and an enhanced appreciation of the power of individual and collective enterprise.
Thomas Friedman's work has always been interesting and insightful. His work is fascinating in regards to data, historical events, memos and behind the scenes policy making of which most of us overworked Americans have no prior knowledge. For me, this book was a fabulous insight, but buyer beware, it is a very, very, VERY liberal work, and I sense Friedman's Jewish ties are the reason for his lack of plasticity regarding Palestine. However, his arguments are excellently examined and displayed with excellent supporting material. Who knows, the libs may be right, but the Right Wingers may find this compilation toxic. 5 stars for the Left, 2 for Right Wingers, but for journalistic excellence, and entertainment, Longs and Atts is a must have reflection on the domestic and foreign political climate that has given birth to the ongoing drama of the American/Arab conflict
Not everyone will agree with Friedman's analysis, but no one who has seriously followed world events since 9/11 can doubt the depth of Friedman's understanding. If you haven't closely followed what's gone on in the world, Friedman's work is basic to any complete understanding. No matter what your own personal conclusions Friedman's careful background and thoughtful commentary will cause you to think more carefully about our "Post 9/11" world. I suspect more than a few open minds will be swayed, as well.
I went into this book with a lot of skepticism because of the author's traditional ultra-liberal bias. But I did have an open mind while reading this collection of essays, as I thought it important to get multiple viewpoints of the war on terrorism - especially from a journalist as well traveled as Mr. Friedman.
Mr. Friedman's depth of knowledge on a variety of Middle East issues is extensive, as expected. But what I found most informative was his perspectives on the opinions and biases of Middle Eastern citizens (especially from Saudi Arabia) that he has known for years through his travels. It is these misconceptions and propaganda-fed agendas of Arab intellectuals, as well as their small middle class, that is most enlightening to westerners. I also expected Mr. Friedman to be more of an apologist for US actions, but this was not the case and he has no qualms identifying the errors of thinking (and actions) from all sides in the Middle East conflicts.
I was pleasantly surprised by the perspectives and attitudes in this work. The only thing lacking is true depth of the issues, as this book isn't much more than a collection of his NY Times articles over the span of a year after September 11th. An extra diary of thoughts and opinions is included that has not been released previously, but to those who are already familiar with his articles this probably isn't reason enough to buy this book. Since I was a new to Mr. Friedman's work, I found the book informative and well balanced. 4 stars.
Excellent! I have been trying to learn more about the Middle East and the tensions related to the region, especially since 9/11. THIS BOOK has uniquely explained many unique insights that were not available in most of the "histories of the Middle East" I could find. Friedman's insignts and analyses (culturally, economically, and politically) are crisp and accessible.
I'm recommending this book to everyone I know!
Thanks Mr. Friedman for your work!
Keep it up!
Thomas Friedman is one of the most perceptive thinkers on the Middle East, and his New York Times columns are must reading. Furthermore, he is an excellent reader. However, the fact that these articles are merely reprints of his New York times columns diminishes their interest, and the quick march of contemporary events has made them somewhat outdated. I would pick Lexis and the Olive Tree as a better read or listen; its broad picture of the importance of globalization is an essential modern insight.
This is an exceptionally naive, presumptuous and liberally biased view of the current situation in the middle east and the world. Like many liberals today, Mr. Friedman has no grasp of facts, no concept of assets and no long-term perception. With friends like Friedman, who needs enemies?
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