When Lee Kuan Yew speaks, presidents, prime ministers, diplomats, and CEOs listen. Lee, the founding father of modern Singapore and its prime minister from 1959 to 1990, has honed his wisdom during more than fifty years on the world stage. Almost single-handedly responsible for transforming Singapore into a Western-style economic success, he offers a unique perspective on the geopolitics of East and West. American presidents from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama have welcomed him to the White House; British prime ministers from Margaret Thatcher to Tony Blair have recognized his wisdom; and business leaders from Rupert Murdoch to Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil, have praised his accomplishments. This book gathers key insights from interviews, speeches, and Lee's voluminous published writings and presents them in an engaging question and answer format. Lee offers his assessment of China's future, asserting, among other things, that "China will want to share this century as co-equals with the U.S." He affirms the United States' position as the world's sole superpower but expresses dismay at the vagaries of its political system. He offers strategic advice for dealing with China and goes on to discuss India's future, Islamic terrorism, economic growth, geopolitics and globalization, and democracy. Lee does not pull his punches, offering his unvarnished opinions on multiculturalism, the welfare state, education, and the free market. This little book belongs on the reading list of every world leader -- including the one who takes the oath of office on January 20, 2013.
The MIT Press
The MIT Press
The MIT Press
The MIT Press
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I'm always in the market for more LKY. The problem with this book is simple: it is written like an interview where the late Minister Mentor answers topics of interest to policy types. The actual fact of the matter is, these are a bunch of out of context quotes taken from the public record and other books, stitched together out of order by the listed "editors" and presented to the reader as something it isn't. Many of the quotes don't make sense as they are stitched together, as they were taken from things LKY said in different decades (a quick skim turns up 45 year gaps between sentences) in vastly different context. LKY seems to contradict himself at times ... because he says one thing in the 1960s, and another thing in 2011. This is, to put it mildly, preposterous. While it is genuine LKY for a sentence or two, you could pretty much make the man say anything you want with this type of editorial control. Sure, there are footnotes showing where the original statement was...
The relationship between the United States and China will be one of the most important factors shaping the globe over the next 100 years. For the curious reader, the most useful perspective on that relationship may come not from within either country, but from the viewpoint of a highly interested third party. "Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World" offers just such a perspective, from the collected comments of the man known as the "founding father of Singapore".
Lee's perspective is balanced between his own formative experience of Chinese culture and his open admiration for many of the best qualities of American civilization. He argues for sustained, patient American engagement in the Pacific -- as well as for a dose of deference to China's self-determination, even if that means it never becomes a true liberal democracy. Lee's own use of power marshalled substantial force of will to turn a tiny city-state into a...
Years ago, after making some money, I thought, Why am I living in a cesspool like Detroit? Coincidentally, I began reading a long article about Singapore, which seemed like the antithesis of Detroit, so I subsequently vacationed there for two weeks with the intent of eventually emigrating, because Singapore seemed like paradise to me. Everything was clean (not one fly or mosquito), modern and pleasant, but it was nothing like the police state the American press had led me to expect. Good beer was sold outdoors on every street corner, and on the weekend there was dancing in the streets downtown. I felt safe at all times and in every neighborhood, and I observed the police in easy conversation with residents of the neighborhood they served. Most American periodicals were available at the Singapore newsstands.
One of my conceits is that I know some history, but I can think of no precedent of a national transformation like that of Singapore. Within one generation, per capita...
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