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June 3, 2009

Pulitzer-prize winning author featured in ULM's Summer Reading Program

In his best-selling book, The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century, Thomas L. Friedman demystifies how the world "flattened" at the dawn of the 21st-century and explains the cultural, political and economic implications on all of us.

Over the next several weeks, incoming freshmen will read the book and consider its themes as part of University of Louisiana at Monroe's Summer Reading Program. The program's intent is to provide students their first common intellectual experience and serve as an introduction to the university's academic community. The summer reading program began in 2005.

The World is Flat earned the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award in 2005, the same year that U.S. News & World Report named Friedman one of "America's Best Leaders."

The Pulitzer-prize winning author and New York Times columnist's most recent work is Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution - And How It Can Renew America, another New York Times bestseller.

"As a long-time foreign affairs correspondent, Mr. Friedman cogently addresses the myriad of issues stemming from globalization," said ULM President James Cofer. "He spells out in precise terms what young people must consider in order to adapt, and more importantly, compete, amid these ever-changing realities."

Friedman has authored three previous books, all of them bestsellers: From Beirut to Jerusalem, winner of the National Book Award for nonfiction; The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization; and Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11.

Students will discuss The World is Flat in the fall and compete in an essay contest related to the book. Prior book selections include:

2008: "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho
2007: "Mountains Beyond Mountains" by Tracy Kidder
2006: "Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser
2005: "Bayou Farewell: the Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana's Cajun Coast" by Mike Tidwell

For more information about the reading program and this year's book selection, visit

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