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Thomas Friedman

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The Great Explainer

Thomas Friedman has won the Pulitzer thrice. Once for his coverage of the war in Lebanon 1988. Once for reporting in Israel and most recently for his commentary illuminating the worldwide impact of terrorism. Friedman has a global presence through his long-running and polarising foreign affairs column at the Times. He began writing the column in January, 1995, and has since written more than 1200 columns. He is an inexhaustible writer and has famously written one of his columns sitting in a hut built on the ice sheet in northern Greenland, on a distant point above the Arctic Circle. What Friedman is best-known for are his best-selling books on geopolitics. His 1999 book The Lexus and the Olive Tree, his 2005 book The World is Flat, his 2008 book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution—and How It Can Renew America are widely read for his influential views on foreign policy and the do-gooding power of globalisation. He brought optimism, energy and and an ease with metaphors to the globalisation debate, each of which (along with his pro-war status) have been criticised by the opposition.

58-year-old Friedman did not, as disgruntled critics mutter, invent globalisation but he has always been ahead of the curve, an ability that a childhood friend points out he had even as a ten-year-old playing broomball.

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