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Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World (Belfer Center Studies in International Security)

Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World (Belfer Center Studies in International Security) [Kindle Edition]

Graham Allison , Henry A. Kissinger
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews


The short book [is] packed with intelligence and insight. If you are interested in the future of Asia, which means the future of the world, you've got to read this book.

(Fareed Zakaria CNN, "Book of the Week,")

Lee's powerful intellect is captured in a new book, Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World. It's a collection of interviews with him by Harvard University professor Graham Allison, Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow Robert Blackwill and Harvard's Belfer Center researcher Ali Wyne, while also drawing on other selected and cited writings by and about Lee. Now 89, officially retired and somewhat frail, Lee has mellowed with age -- not unlike his creation Singapore, governed today with a lighter touch even as its citizens grow more vocal. Yet, as the book, and the adaptation here of the China chapter, reveal, Lee is as sharp, direct and prescient as ever. Though the volume was completed before China's current territorial tensions with its neighbors, it helps expose, and explain, Beijing's hardball mind-set.

--TIME Magazine

Graham Allison and Bob Blackwill have important questions to ask about China, America and the extraordinary impact of the relationship of those two countries on the rest of the world. For answers, they turned to Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore s first premier and one of the world s most formidable geopolitical thinkers and strategists. The result is a fascinating book called Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master s Insights on China, the United States, and the World. --Ian Bremmer, Reuters

Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World forms a kind of last testament of the ailing, 89-year-old Mr. Lee. It is based on interviews with Mr. Lee by the authors Graham Allison, a professor of government at Harvard's Kennedy School, and Robert Blackwill, a former U.S. diplomat to which the authors add a distillation of Mr. Lee's speeches, writings and interviews with others over many years. --Karen Elliott House, Wall Street Journal

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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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1151 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (1 Feb 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #109,954 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Innovate ideas about effective government 6 Mar 2013
Lu Kuan Yew (LKY) must be the most experienced political leader still living to day, born in 1923 and still being as insightful as ever. The book is based on interviews by Harvard academics and on analysis of what LKY has written and his speeches. This format of questions and answers is effective, because the LKY gives original and innovative answers. He explains what is likely to happen as well as the risks that it can go wrong, very wrong. The chapter subjects are China, the USA, India, Islamic extremism, Globalization and Democracy.
In the rest of this review I have selected some of LKY's comments as examples of what you can expect on the subjects of vision, the purpose of government, the system of
Government, Leadership, National economic growth, China and the USA. His comments.
LKY comments. Society must maintain a balance between nurturing excellence in performance of the most capable, and encouraging the average to improve. There must be cooperation between people in the same society. There is a continual need to balance between a successful competitive society and a cohesive, compassionate one. To maintain cohesion, we buffer in Singapore the lowest 20%, the weaker achievers, from the tough competition of the market place. We support the lower-income workers with extra income.
Human beings are inherently vicious and have to be restrained from their viciousness. Confucius theory says people can be improved. I am not sure it can be, it can be disciplined. Law and order is essential, but many do not recognize that without order laws cannot be applied. Order also demands that people act in a disciplined way, which is not "natural".
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By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER
Graham Allison and Robert D. Blackwill, with Ali Wyne, examine the global perspectives of Lee Kuan Yew. Never heard of him? Allow Henry Kissinger to introduce him: "I have had the privilege of meeting many world leaders over the past half century; none, however, has taught me more than Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's first premier and its guiding spirit ever since." What we have here is an extended Q&A format during which Yew responds to a series of questions that address eight major subjects:
A separate chapter is devoted to each.

1. The Future of China
2. The Future of the United States
3. The Future of U.S.-China Relations
4. The Future of India
5. The Future of Islamic Extremism
6. The Future of National Economic Growth
7. The Future of Geopolitics
8. The Future of Democracy

Then in Chapter 9, "How Lee Kuan Yew Thinks," his answers to the questions posed "reveal much about the principles and worldview that have shaped his political choices." These are among Yew's observations of greatest interest and value to me:

* * *

o Straight-line extrapolations from such a remarkable record [i.e. China's rapidly growing consumer market] are not realistic. China has more handicaps going forward and more obstacles to overcome than most observers recognize.

o China is not going to become a liberal democracy; if it did, it would collapse.

o I understood Deng Xiaoping when he said: if 200,000 students have to be shot, shoot them, because the alternative is China in chaos for another 100 years.

o The U.S. is going through a bumpy patch with its debt and deficits, but I have no doubt that America will not be reduced to second-rate status.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Separate texts strung together 22 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This assembles various remarks from numerous published sources. I found it less interesting that Lee Kwan Yew's own account in his two biographies. Still, it is much shorter, cheaper and more accessable. A series of interesting insights.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHETTING THE APPETITE FOR MORE 4 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Lee Kuan Yew is one of the most impressive of what I call "foundational rulers" of the 20th and 21st century, together with all too few others, such as David Ben-Gurion, Charles De Gaulle, Deng Xiaoping and Nelson Mandela. As humanity is increasingly in need of outstanding foundational rulers for coping with its cascading metamorphosis, driven by science and technology together with values transformations, there is much to learn from Yew and his many publications. Still, sorely missing is a comprehensive biography of Yew within the context of the making of modern Singapore.
This book is not substitute for what is missing, but it does whet the appetite for much more. The presented fragments of Yew's views serve well to counteract Western misperceptions and mind-shackling notions of what is "politically correct." Thus, to provide just some illustrations from Yes's view presented, however briefly, in the book: "It is the near-geniuses and the above-average who ultimately decide the shape of things to come" (p. 129); there is "the ever-present danger of regression and even collapse" (p. 134); leaders should not be over influenced by public opinion, there being "moments when [leaders] have to be thoroughly unpopular" (p. 117); China was right to repress the Tianamen students who "are irrelevant" (p. 153); and "China is not going to become a liberal democracy; if it did it would collapse" (p. 13).
Not all of Yew's views, as presented, are correct. Thus, he overemphasizes that "it is ultimately in the sphere of economics that results must be achieved" (p. 112), neglecting critical aspects of a "good life"; fateful implications science and technology for the future of humanity are discussed superficially (p.
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