Cover image for Longitudes and attitudes : exploring the world after September 11
Title:
Longitudes and attitudes : exploring the world after September 11
Author:
Friedman, Thomas L.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2002.
Physical Description:
xi, 383 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 9.2 21.0 74318.
ISBN:
9780374190668
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

America's leading observer of the international scene on the minute-by-minute events of September 11th--before, during and after

As the Foreign Affairs columnist for the The New York Times , Thomas L. Friedman is in a unique position to interpret the world for American readers. Twice a week, Friedman's celebrated commentary provides the most trenchant, pithy,and illuminating perspective in journalism.

Longitudes and Attitudes contains the columns Friedman has published about the most momentous news story of our time, as well as a diary of his experiences and reactions during this period of crisis. As the author writes, the book is "not meant to be a comprehensive study of September 11 and all the factors that went into it. Rather, my hope is that it will constitute a 'word album' that captures and preserves the raw, unpolished, emotional and analytical responses that illustrate how I, and others, felt as we tried to grapple with September and its aftermath, as they were unfolding."

Readers have repeatedly said that Friedman has expressed the essence of their own feelings, helping them not only by explaining who "they" are, but also by reassuring us about who "we" are. More than any other journalist writing, Friedman gives voice to America's awakening sense of its role in a changed world.


Author Notes

Journalist Thomas L. Friedman was born in 1953 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Friedman graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in Mediterranean Studies and earned a graduate degree from Oxford in Modern Middle East Studies. His reporting on the war in Lebanon won the George Polk Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Livingston Award for Young Journalists. He won a second Pulitzer for his work in Israel. Friedman began his career as a correspondent for United Press International and later served as bureau chief for the New York Times in Beirut and Jerusalem. He moved to the op-ed page of The New York Times as a foreign affairs columnist. In 2002, Friedman won his third Pulitzer Prize, this time for Commentary.

Friedman wrote about his experiences as a Jewish-American reporter in the Middle East in From Beirut to Jerusalem, which won the National Book Award in 1989. The bestselling Lexus and the Olive Tree won the 2000 Overseas Press Club Award for best nonfiction book on foreign policy. He wrote Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11 and The World Is Flat, which received the first Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award. His other works include Hot, Flat, and Crowded, Hot, Flat, and Crowded 2.0, and That Used to Be Us which made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2012. His title, Thank You for Being Late, made the New York Times Best Seller List in 2016.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This is a repackaging of Friedman's New York Times columns from September 2001 through June 2002, with a lengthy postscript describing Friedman's travels and interviews throughout this period. The one article in this batch likely to draw the most attention is his February 17, 2002, column in which the heir to the Saudi Arabian throne proposed a land-for-peace resolution, premised on Israel's 1967 borders. Whatever its merits--and it predictably foundered in the real world's storm of Islamic terrorists and certain governments vowing the utter destruction of Israel and Jews--Friedman learned significant things in conversation with the Saudi ruler, educated Saudis, and others in the Muslim world. He recounts their doubts that the September 11 terrorists were Saudi grown, their proclivity for bizarre conspiracy-thinking (anti-Semitic, of course) to explain or even justify the atrocity, and numberless complaints about America. With these disquieting attitudes discussed from the lectern, Friedman's 16-city promotional tour will undoubtedly be an animated and heated one. --Gilbert Taylor


Publisher's Weekly Review

"History just took a right turn into a blind alley," comments the New York Times columnist in his latest book, "and something very dear has just been taken away from us." Tackling this observation from many different angles, this lucid book, consisting of Friedman's exceptionally frank and convincing columns and an insightful post-September 11 diary, prods at the questions surrounding that day and offers an invaluable reporter's perspective on the world from outside U.S. borders. The columns, which are the bulk of the book, represent a comprehensive album of the past two years ranging from the usefulness of building a missile shield to analyzing the structure of Arab societies yet they rarely stray from the central theme of promoting thoughtful and measured consideration of the U.S.' role in the world. However, the previously unpublished diary offers the most insight to the state of the world after September 11. Stranded in Israel during the attacks, Friedman ended up traveling throughout the Middle East, discovering how the terrorist attacks affected the region and uncovering many of the roots of anti-American sentiment, which he aptly describes alongside his reflections on watching his daughter's multicultural middle-school chorus sing "God Bless America." Unapologetically pro-American, Friedman's deliberation on what changed on September 11 outside of the U.S. ultimately centers on the strength of American society and our place in the world. (On sale Sept. 4) Forecast: Friedman has become a touchstone for readers trying to understand events of the past year. With a 12-city author tour, this will no doubt, like his previous books, appear on bestseller lists. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Foreign affairs columnist for the New York Times, Friedman gathers pieces for what he calls a "word album" of recent events. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Medal of Honor When Al Gore was in Vietnam he never saw much combat. Throughout his presidential campaign, though, he insisted he wanted to "fight" for every American. Well, Wednesday night, in his concession speech, Mr. Gore took a bullet for the country. The shot was fired at the heart of the nation by the five conservative justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, with their politically inspired ruling that installed George W. Bush as President. The five justices essentially said that it was more important that Florida meet its self-imposed deadline of December 12 for choosing a slate of electors than for the Florida Supreme Court to try to come up with a fair and uniform way to ensure that every possible vote in Florida was counted--and still meet the real federal deadline, for the nationwide Electoral College vote on December 18. The five conservative justices essentially ruled that the sanctity of dates, even meaningless ones, mattered more than the sanctity of votes, even meaningful ones. The Rehnquist Court now has its legacy: "In calendars we trust." You don't need an inside source to realize that the five conservative justices were acting as the last in a team of Republican Party elders who helped drag Governor Bush across the finish line. You just needed to read the withering dissents of Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter, and Stevens, who told the country exactly what their five colleagues were up to--acting without legal principle or logic and thereby inflicting a wound, said Justice Breyer, "that may harm not just the Court, but the nation." Or, as the Harvard moral philosopher Michael Sandel put it: "Not only did the Court fail to produce any compelling argument of principle to justify its ruling. But, on top of that, the conservative majority contradicted its long-held insistence on protecting states' rights against federal interference. That's why this ruling looks more like partisanship than principle. And that's why many will conclude that the five conservative justices voted twice for President--once in November and once in December." Which brings us back to Mr. Gore and his concession speech. It was the equivalent of taking a bullet for the country, because the rule of law is most reinforced when--even though it may have been imposed wrongly or with bias--the recipient of the judgment accepts it, and the system behind it, as final and legitimate. Only in that way--only when we reaffirm our fidelity to the legal system, even though it rules against us--can the system endure, improve, and learn from its mistakes. And that was exactly what Mr. Gore understood, bowing out with grace because, as he put it, "this is America, and we put country before party." If Chinese or Russian spies are looking for the most valuable secret they can steal in Washington, here's a free tip: Steal Al Gore's speech. For in a few brief pages it contains the real secret to America's sauce. That secret is not Wall Street, and it's not Silicon Valley, it's not the Air Force and it's not the Navy, it's not the free press and it's not the free market--it is the enduring rule of law and the institutions that underlie them all, and that allow each to flourish no matter who is in power. One can only hope that Mr. Bush also understands that the ultimate strength of America and the impact it has on the world does not come from all the military systems he plans to expand (though they too are important), or from Intel's latest microchip. It comes from this remarkable system of laws and institutions we have inherited--a system, they say, that was designed by geniuses so it could be run by idiots. Mr. Bush will soon discover that preserving this system is critical not only for America, it is critical for the world. America today is the Michael Jordan of geopolitics. Many envy the institutions and economy that ensure our dominance; others deeply resent us for the same. But all are watching our example--and all understand, at some level, that the stability of the world today rests on the ability of our system and economy to endure. Al Gore reinforced that system by his graceful concession; Mr. Bush will have to reinforce it by his presidency. Now that the campaign is over and the system has determined the winner, no one should root for his failure. Because, as Al Gore would say, "this is America," and it's the only one we've got. December 15, 2000 Excerpted from Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World after September 11 by Thomas L. Friedman All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Word Album
Prologue: The Super-Story
Columns
Before: December 15, 2000-September 11, 2001 After: September 13, 2001-July 3, 2002
Diary
Travels in a World Without Walls: September 11, 2001-July 3, 2002
Acknowledgements