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"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wFriday, May 16, 2003


GENESIS FOR GLOBALIZERS: Now this is cool: Books in Canada, which I do reviews for occasionally, has a deal with Amazon.ca. Once the reviews have appeared in the print publicatin, they are posted at the Amazon's website (the writers get a little extra for this; I think it's 10 percent), where we might even be able to influence buyers. Here's an excerpt of my latest review (scroll down):

If I were to give an award for the breeziest book on globalization, it would go to either Thomas Friedman's faddish The Lexus and the Olive Tree, or Alan Shipman's new offering: The Globalization Myth. The lingo in the latter is happening, the jokes are targeted at the pretentious and it almost manages to make a subject that defies readability entertaining. Some, however, may mistake this breeziness for a lack of insight or imagination, which would be a miscalculation. Shipman is the author of two serious books on economics (The Market Revolution and Its Limits and Transcending Transaction) whose "good times" persona masks a much more subtle thinker.

The "myth" in the title is meant to refer to a set of misunderstandings about what globalization is and what its effects are, but it also takes on a double meaning. The chapter-length introduction begins, "Life on earth was global from the outset, as one fragile planet huddled for comfort against a cold and empty space." Localization, Shipman explains, "came later, after manners began to fragment over space, and memories over time." Readers of a religious background probably just heard echoes of the opening of the book of Genesis and the story of the Tower of Babel, and their ears were not playing tricks on them. Creation myths are marvelous tools for imagining how the world should work, pinpointing the precise point at which everything went arse-over-teakettle and charting a course back to our designer Eden. [more]

posted by Jeremy at 12:11 AM