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Review of the Book at 'the World Is Flat'

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Thomas Loren Friedman was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on July 20, 1953, and grew up in the middle-class Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. He is the son of Harold and Margaret Friedman.
From an early age, Friedman, whose father often brought him to the golf course for a round after work, wanted to be a professional golfer. He was captain of the St. Louis Park High golf team; at the 1970 U.S. Open at Hazeltine National Golf Club, he caddied for Chi Chi Rodriquez, who came in 27th. That, alas, was as close as Friedman would get to professional golf. In high school, however, he developed two other passions that would define his life from then on: the Middle East and journalism. It was a visit to Israel with his parents during Christmas vacation in 1968–69 that stirred his interest in the Middle East, and it was his high school journalism teacher, Hattie Steinberg, who inspired in him a love of reporting and newspapers.
After graduating from high school in 1971, Friedman attended the University of Minnesota and Brandeis University, and graduated summa cum laude in 1975 with a degree in Mediterranean studies. During his undergraduate years, he spent semesters abroad at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the American University in Cairo. Following his graduation from Brandeis, Friedman attended St. Antony's College, Oxford University, on a Marshall Scholarship. In 1978, he received an M.Phil. degree in modern Middle East studies from Oxford. That summer he joined the London Bureau of United Press International (UPI) on Fleet Street, where he worked as a general assignment reporter.
Friedman spent almost a year reporting and editing in London before UPI dispatched him to Beirut as a correspondent in the spring of 1979. He and his wife Ann lived in Beirut from June 1979 to May 1981 while he covered the civil war there.
In May 1981,...

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