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The global cliché

Thomas Friedman's book has already become a globalisation classic. But it may end up looking like a foolish period piece

By Paul Krugman   November 1999

Every few years a book comes along which perfectly expresses the moment’s conventional wisdom-which says pretty much what everybody else in the chattering classes is saying, but does it in a way which manages to sound fresh and profound. Notable examples are Paul Kennedy’s The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (1988), with its theme of “imperial overstretch,” of a US declining under the weight of its commitments; or Lester Thurow’s Head to Head (1993), with its vision of a desperate commercial struggle among the advanced nations, and of a US unable to compete because of its na? faith…

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