Although the death of Osama bin Laden has drawn a symbolic line under the events of 11 September 2001, the past ten years has left America with a dubious legacy of military entanglement and economic crisis. As the rise of China and climate change jostle the Arab Spring for headlines, the complex problems facing the United States have made the possibility of American 'decline' a hot topic.

Thomas Friedman is one of the world's most influential public intellectuals. He has long been an outspoken commentator on global affairs with a unique ability to focus on the social, economic and political trends that are shaping our world.

The United States Studies Centre and the Sydney Opera House are proud to offer Australians a rare opportunity to hear first hand Friedman's latest thinking on the forces driving global change and the challenges facing America.

Chief executive of the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney Professor Geoffrey Garrett said Thomas Friedman's perspectives will be of great interest to Australians seeking to understand the world.

"From 9/11 to the killing of Osama, from the dot com bubble to the global financial crisis, from the Kyoto Protocol to the greentech revolution, there is no more astute or prescient analyst of global affairs than Thomas Friedman", Professor Garrett said.

Ann Mossop, Head of Public Programs at Sydney Opera House also welcomes Friedman's visit. "He is someone who tackles the big questions and has the ability to bring complex issues to life for readers and audiences"

Friedman is internationally renowned as an author and journalist. He has won three Pulitzer Prizes and is the author of several bestselling books. His book on globalisation, The World Is Flat, has sold more than four million copies in thirty-seven languages. Other books include From Beirut to Jerusalem, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, and Hot, Flat, and Crowded. For the past 15 years, he has also been the foreign affairs columnist for the New York Times.

In the Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House on the evening of Tuesday 2 August, Thomas Friedman will participate in a wide-ranging conversation about the rise of China and emerging Asia, the Middle East and the Arab Spring, and his upcoming book That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World We Invented and How We Can Come Back.

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The Wheeler Centre is also hosting a Melbourne event with Thomas Friedman on 29 July at the Melbourne Town Hall. Details of this talk can be found at

Media enquiries

Christopher Wynton Sydney Opera House 02 9250 7836