Hot, Flat, and Crowded : Why We Need a Green Revolution - And How It Can Renew America by Thomas L. Friedman (2008, Hardcover)

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Hot, Flat, and Crowded

Product Details

  • Pub. Date: September 2008
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Format: Hardcover , 448pp
  • ISBN-13:
  • ISBN:


Thomas L. Friedman's No. 1 bestseller The World Is Flat has helped millions of readers to see the world, and globalization, in a new way. With his latest book, Friedman brings a fresh and provocative outlook to another pressing issue: the interlinked 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 the 2008 presidential election--and to all of us who are concerned about the state of America and its role in the global future.

"Green is the new red, white, and blue," Friedman declares, and 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 in the coming E.C.E.--the Energy-Climate Era. Green-oriented practices and technologies, established at scale everywhere from Washington to Wal-Mart, are both the only way to mitigate climate change and the best way for America to "get its groove back"--to "reknit America at home, reconnect America abroad, retool America for the new century, and restore America to its natural place in the global order."

As in The World Is Flat and his previous bestseller The Lexus and the Olive Tree, he explains the future we are facing through an illuminating account of recent events. He explains how 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the flattening of the world by the Internet, which has brought three billion new consumers onto the world stage, have combined to bring the climate and energy issues to main street. But they have not really gone down main street yet. Indeed, it is Friedman's view that we are not really having the green revolution that the press keeps touting, or, if we are, "it is the only revolution in history," he says, "where no one got hurt." No, to the contrary, argues Friedman, we're actually having a "green party." We have not even begun to be serious yet about the speed and scale of change that is required.

With all that in mind, Friedman lays out his argument that if we are going to avoid the worst disruptions looming before us as we enter the Energy-Climate Era, we are going to need several disruptive breakthroughs in the clean-technology sphere--disruptive in the transformational sense. He explores what enabled the disruptive breakthroughs that created the IT (Information Technology) revolution that flattened the world in information terms and then shows how a similar set of disruptive breakthroughs could spark the ET--Energy Technology--revolution. Time and again, though, Friedman shows why it is both necessary and desirous for America to lead this revolution--with the first green president, a green New Deal, and spurred by the Greenest Generation--and why meeting the green challenge of the twenty-first century could transform America every bit as meeting the Red challenge, that of Communism, did in the twentieth century.

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.

The New York Times - David G. Victor

The litany of dangers has been told many times before, but Mr. Friedman's voice is compelling and will be widely heard…Heads will be nodding across airport lounges, as readers absorb Mr. Friedman's common sense about how America and the world are dangerously addicted to cheap fossil fuels while we recklessly use the atmosphere as a dumping ground for carbon dioxide.


Occasionally blunt, often educational, but never boring, Thomas L. Friedman is among the best known and respected analysts of the Middle East. A three-time Pulitzer winner, his books and column for the New York Times take a no-nonsense, authoritative approach to complex global issues.



Reviews (9)

  • ashley1331
    4 years, 2 months ago at Barnes & Noble

    3.0 / 5.0

    felt overcome by so many quotations it seemed lengthy but a good read for any passionate green person.

  • NeilJ
    3 years, 1 month ago at Barnes & Noble

    4.0 / 5.0

    I did not realize all of the things that went wrong behind the scenes of the recent financial crisis. Friedman lays things out in a way I can understand. He took it beyond what you here in the news.

  • Anonymous
    3 years, 6 months ago at Barnes & Noble

    1.0 / 5.0

    I tried for three weeks to get in to it. Message is old but vaild. Buy the book summary. Also this book is not a good reflction of Thomas' other works. The lexus and the olive tree and the world is flat were both great books and worth the read at the time.

  • StarmanJT
    3 years, 8 months ago at Barnes & Noble

    1.0 / 5.0

    It's yesterday's book, and poorly wrtten. You won't find the issues of the day here; you'd never guess the US is broke, the EU on its last legs, international bureaucracies feathering their nests. There are the simple mistakes: e.g., on p. 179, Brazil's largest city is spelled two ways in three lines. There are sins of ommission: nowhere do we read of natural gas being a good and cheap replacement for gasoline, instead we get statist comments and stupid praise of ethenol. Junk science is big; we have global warming, we have hybrid cars, we have needs to radically expand government regulation of damn near everything. Finally, and most egregiously, we have calls for "revolutionary bureaucrats! Ever met one?

  • JPotestivo
    4 years, 5 months ago at Barnes & Noble

    4.0 / 5.0

    As is his custom, Friedman, in "Hot, Flat and Crowded..." weaves together complex, interdisciplinary issues and ideas and packages them in a way that is consumable for the broader population. "Hot, Flat and Crowded..." should be required reading for everyone - within and outside of government.

  • Angela2932ND
    4 years, 7 months ago at Barnes & Noble

    4.0 / 5.0

    Very similiar to his The World is Flat, but it draws you in, and his views of the world tend to be quite insightful. This book, like his previous one, is very information-dense, but he has a way of presenting information in such a way that I often felt like I was being pulled into a novel, and wanted to see how everything is going to turn out! But it's OUR novel, it's the story of us on our planet, and although much of what he portrays is dire, he does highlight some ways in which our actions can make a difference in the world. I tend to like "gloom and doom aplocalyptic books" when they are just fiction. I greatly appreciate when non-fiction "gloom and doom" is soundly factual and at least hints at the potential for improving the situation. After reading this book, I tried to talk many friends into reading it, just for his ideas on renewable energy alone. I suspect the thickness of his book intimidates, but hearing him speak in the media, or listening to this book on audio-tape is quite pleasurabele and the subject is completely engrossing.

  • RogWrite
    4 years, 8 months ago at Barnes & Noble

    5.0 / 5.0

    This book is another triumph for Tom Freidman. He understands the dynamics that will not only change the global economy but the very way we live.Masterful job.Roger ChiocchiAuthor, Baby Boomer Bust? How the generation of promise became the generation of panic.

  • Thomas_Jefferson_Snodgras
    4 years, 10 months ago at Barnes & Noble

    4.0 / 5.0

    Friedman's book, meticulously researched, provides a strong case for real environmental reform beyond the "Simple and Easy Ways to Save the Planet" approach that is more often heard in local news programming and on magazine covers. He not only lays out why reform would improve the climate effects across the globe, but how a U.S.-led effort on climate change would dramatically improve the nation's economy and bring many of the poorest of neighborhoods and their people out of abject poverty in our 1st-world nation. Ranging in argument from the need for stronger government legislation and regulation to how local utilities currently work and how they need to improve, Friedman's argument is logical and engaging. The book does suffer, at times, from excessive repetition and random appeals to emotion rather than logic, but on the whole the thesis is strong and should appeal to any engaged citizen.

  • Brewer_Crain
    5 years ago at Barnes & Noble

    1.0 / 5.0

    Just look at the people who push the green movement. Most or all of them have strong backgrounds in communist or Maoist beliefs. The green movement is more about transferring wealth than saving the planet. If it were about saving the planet, then every true believer in the movement would be svelte vegans who walk from speech to speech instead of the overweight, meat-eating, private jet fliers that they are.Add in the fact that the science behind the green movement, that increasing CO2 levels cause global warming, is fundamentally wrong since CO2 levels have been rising for the past decade while global temperatures have fallen and you have what religious skeptics call a religion. According to religious skeptics, religions are based on myth and belief in something that cannot logically be true given evidence to the contrary.I didn't read this book the first time it was released and I certainly won't be reading it this time.