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Publisher's Summary

Thomas L. Friedman's number-one best seller The World Is Flat has helped millions of listeners to see globalization in a new way. Now Friedman brings a fresh outlook to the crises of destabilizing climate change and rising competition for energy - both of which could poison our world if we do not act quickly and collectively. His argument speaks to all of us who are concerned about the state of America in the global future.

Friedman proposes that an ambitious national strategy - which he calls "Geo-Greenism" - is not only what we need to save the planet from overheating; it is what we need to make America healthier, richer, more innovative, more productive, and more secure.

As in The World Is Flat, he explains a new era - the Energy-Climate era - through an illuminating account of recent events. He shows how 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the flattening of the world by the Internet (which brought three billion new consumers onto the world stage) have combined to bring climate and energy issues to Main Street. But they have not gone very far down Main Street; the much-touted "green revolution" has hardly begun.

With all that in mind, Friedman sets out the clean-technology breakthroughs we, and the world, will need; he shows that the ET (Energy Technology) revolution will be both transformative and disruptive, and he explains why America must lead this revolution - with the first Green President and a Green New Deal, spurred by the Greenest Generation.

Hot, Flat, and Crowded is classic Thomas L. Friedman - fearless, incisive, forward-looking, and rich in surprising common sense about the world we live in today.

©2008, 2009 Thomas L. Friedman (P)2008 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"An exhaustive, impressive, and convincing argument about the need for the United States to transition to more sustainable systems of energy soon or else risk any possible chance of maintaining hegemony. [Friedman's] ability to identify and summarize succinctly the issues and controversies over resistance to a green revolution is matched by his clear and definitive solutions to these forthcoming problems. Oliver Wyman provides a congenial and gentle voice that works well with the text." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    393
  • 4 Stars
    349
  • 3 Stars
    215
  • 2 Stars
    75
  • 1 Stars
    46

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    131
  • 4 Stars
    106
  • 3 Stars
    46
  • 2 Stars
    23
  • 1 Stars
    15

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    140
  • 4 Stars
    108
  • 3 Stars
    44
  • 2 Stars
    21
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking and sincere

Well thought out and well-expressed ideas, delivered in a non-judgmental and hopeful voice. I think I'll read more of this author.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • M. Buttram
  • Alexandria, VA United States
  • 06-23-13

Important concept gets lost in the sauce

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Friedman's writing style is a big turn-off for me. He never says in ten words what can be said in 10,000.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Most interesting: the core concepts are critical to understanding the need for energy independence in order to ensure our long term security. Least interesting: repetition.

What about Oliver Wyman’s performance did you like?

Pleasant voice, standard diction.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Surprise - I didn't connect the dots between energy and security before listening.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Isaac
  • Boise, Idaho, United States
  • 05-17-11

Hot Flat and Crappy...

This book is a joke. I would not recommend it. The parts about the middle east are interesting, but this book is a very liberal book and author. The crap about global warming is a complete joke.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Carla
  • Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
  • 11-05-10

Big fan

I thouroughly enjoyed this book. It's very long but I found the whole thing to be fascinating and very educational. I am certainly interested in checking out more of Friedman's books.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lisa
  • Birmingham, AL, United States
  • 09-22-10

Informative but...

Informative but a bit preachy. I appreciate much of the information provided, but something in the narration makes it seem a bit like the author standing on a soap box. Still, an informative listen if perhaps overly long.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Jayme
  • Richmond, British Columbia, Canada
  • 07-27-10

Amazingly Boring

Amazingly boring. That was 17 brutally long chapters, that just went on and on, without making much in the way of an original contribution. Here are three of the things that drove me nuts about this book:

1. More concerned with coining a new word or phrase than writing an interesting book. eg. "Hot, Flat, and Crowded", "Energy-climate Era", and "Out-greening". That last one he was trying to popularize for a friend...

2. Writing style. It was much more obvious in the audio book I bet, but the writing style was so formulaic. His sentences more often than not were simply lists of words and then an explanation. eg. "If America can't quit being green, purple, and blue, then it's never going to be red."

3. Very few original thoughts. I didn't learn enough reading this book. If I'm going to spend my time reading an environmental work, I want it to make me think about the issues under a new light.

Bottom line, there are other books that are better written and more thought provoking than this one, on environmental issues. Definitely wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dennis
  • Washington, DC, United States
  • 05-29-09

Stop the World, I Want to Get Off

Friedman is not describing Manhattan in the summer, but the dire state of the world in the 21st Century. If anyone needs talking points for their friends who do not believe in global warming, Friedman has statistics that should turn a skeptic into a believer.
As forbidding as the challenge is to clean up the world, the author offers us hope that there is still time. When people ask if there is still time, he says that there is if we start today; any other answer is too horrible to contemplate.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the Most Important Books of our Lifetime

This book presents the combined issues of the explosive growth of the middle class in countries like China and India, the exponential effect of that growth on energy consumption, and the effect of that consumption on the natural world. The well documented facts are presented without hyperbole but without sugar coating. This combined story is one that has not been told elsewhere. Friedman is a master journalist and has uncovered the most important story of the century. I also find Friedman fun to listen to -- he uses language wonderfully, and melds facts, stories, and analysis in a way that makes you want to listen and learn.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Could have been great

This is an important book, but it was a bit of a trudge from time to time. I would have preferred an abridged version because Friedman tends to repeat himself. The reader’s affectation whenever he reads Friedman’s phrase “Hot, Flat, and Crowded” was annoying. If the book was read on television, I have no doubt that drinking games would be invented from the overused used phrase.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking

A book that should be read or listened to by everyone. As usual Friedman does a comprehensive and thorough examination of the world's energy and global warming crisis and has profound recommendations to provide us. His book is a bit long and he tends to be very repetitive. The narration was not good, a very slow and ponderous speaker. I kept saying to my IPOD, "SPEED IT UP"!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful