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Tom Friedman, You’re a Lightweight!
Looking at the New York Times columnist’s new book compared with other intellectual heavyweights.
Three top Washington thinkers have new books, all much more readable than their physical weight and subject matter suggest. Daniel Yergin engagingly weaves together the economy and the war on terror in a way few historians have done. Thomas L. Friedman, with Michael Mandelbaum, argues that the US is failing to confront the challenges of globalization. Christopher Hitchens returns with about 100 of his best recent essays. Here’s a comparison of these intellectual heavyweights.
|Daniel Yergin, The Quest||Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum, That Used to Be Us||Christopher Hitchens, Arguably||Advantage|
|Book’s Subtitle||Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World||How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back||Essays||Yergin|
|Number of Pulitzer Prizes||One||Three (all Friedman’s)||None||Friedman and Mandelbaum|
|Academic Credentials||Yale and Cambridge University||Friedman: Brandeis and Oxford; Mandelbaum: Yale, Harvard, and Cambridge||Oxford||Friedman and Mandelbaum|
|Number of Pages||816||400||816||Yergin and Hitchens (tie)|
|Weight||2.9 pounds||1.3 pounds||2.5 pounds||Yergin|
|Number of Cover Blurbs||Seven||None||Six||Yergin|
|Sample Review||“This masterful and illuminating book on one of the most vital issues of our time…should be essential reading for policymakers everywhere.” —Henry Kissinger||“Friedman and Mandelbaum are men of the American elite, and they write to salute those members of the American elite who behave public-spiritedly and to scourge those who do not.” —David Frum||“If Hitchens didn’t exist, we wouldn’t be able to invent him.” —Ian McEwan “Hitchens is the greatest living essayist in the English language.” —Christopher Buckley||Hitchens|
|Book’s Epigraph||None||“It makes no sense for China to have better rail systems than us, and Singapore having better airports than us. And we just learned that China now has the fastest supercomputer on Earth—that used to be us.” —Barack Obama||“Live all you can: It’s a mistake not to.” —Lambert Strether in Henry James’s The Ambassadors||Friedman and Mandelbaum|
|Target Audience||Davos attendees||Meet the Press viewers||Slate readers||Yergin|
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