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The Dragon and the Elephant: China, India and the New World Order [Paperback]

David Smith
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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The Dragon and the Elephant: China, India and the New World Order The Dragon and the Elephant: China, India and the New World Order 3.3 out of 5 stars (3)
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Book Description

26 April 2007 1861978154 978-1861978158
The rise of China and India will be the outstanding development of the 21st century, raising fundamental questions about both the structure of the world economy and the balance of global geopolitical power. Will China still be a repressive and undemocratic regime, embracing free market economics but only when it suits? How aggressive a superpower will it be? And what about India, whose huge and growing population and economic prospects appear to guarantee prosperity? David Smith analyses the ways in which the world is tilting rapidly Eastwards, and examines all the implications of the shift in global power to Beijing, Delhi and Washington - a shift that will creep up on us before we know it.

Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books (26 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861978154
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861978158
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 274,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The points of comparison between India and China are intriguing ...this book succeeds by raising the issues, by providing the rich background needed to see them in context and treating them in a balanced way. In that sense, it deserves to move faster from the counters than many other books full of confident optimistic or pessimistic certainties. (World Business)

This book combines readability with sharp analysis, making you want to turn every page to find out more. It stimulates and nourishes the mind whilst adding to the wake-up call that the Dragon and the Elephant present to the developed world. (Sir Digby Jones)

About the Author

David Smith is Economics Editor of The Sunday Times. He has a number of other books under his belt and is regularly on the radio and television, commentating on economics.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chindia calling 1 Sep 2007
This book provides an excellent overview of the economic and to some extent the cultural and political histories of China and India. For a reader who is not very familiar with either of these countries, this is a great introduction. Then the focus shifts to factors that led to the decline of these great countries in the 19th century and nearly three quarters of the last century. The once most prosperous economies are reduced to the bottom of the economic pyramid, topping world records only in terms of their large and rising populations. In the case of China, the misfortune of the "great leap forward" and the "cultural revolution" are the two main factors that dragged the country backward. In India, despite independence from the British in 1947, the failure of centralized planning, stifling bureaucracy and lack of political will are brought out as the key reasons for her failure to catch up. China's transformation since 1978 under a new leadership and India's economic liberalization since 1991 catapult these nations into trajectories of high economic growth. China has achieved more since she started the process early. While China's comparative advantage is derived from low manufacturing costs due to cheap and abundant labor, India has leveraged on her huge talent pool to offer services in a connected world. The author explains these events with unbiased precision.

In terms of economic growth rates, China is ahead of India by a couple of percentage points, but this could be the proverbial race between the hare and the tortoise if one were to analyze a bit deeper. Comparison between the two large neighbors of Asia only draws more contrasts.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eyes to the East 8 Oct 2007
By tdsfox
In this book, Smith provides a highly informative perspective on one of the more topical issues affecting the world economy today - the rise of China and India.

Smith takes us on an economic tour of the two Eastern giants, starting with their history, the reasons behind their rapid development, their implications for the world economy, and their prospects for the future. Along the way, Smith covers all the bases of a well-rounded economics book - growth theory, development economics, international trade and macroeconomics - and does so in the free flowing style of a seasoned journalist.

The book builds on each successive chapter making it something of a page turner - a rare thing in the economics literature. And, by tackling both China and India together, it provides an informative comparison of the two giants - a feature often lacking from more specialist books.

Writing from the position of an external observer, Smith freely admits he cannot offer the experience of a local writer who has witnessed the rise of the East first hand. But what Smith lacks in local knowledge, he makes up for with a clear, concise writing style, expert economic knowledge, and thoroughly researched analysis.

Given the more complex subject matter, this book isn't as readily digestible as Smith's last book - "A Free Lunch". But, by avoiding the use of technical jargon, this book remains accessible to anyone with an interest in the topic and is ideal for economics students. Due to the strength of its analysis and the sheer number of facts that are crammed in to its 238 pages, this book is also a highly informative read for experienced economists.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OK 4 Aug 2007
This book is best described as 'OK'. The book is clearly not designed to answer, in any great detail, the questions of why the dramatic shift in the Chinese and Indian economies has come about. Rather, it seeks to provide an overview of what is happening in theses two economies, in the context of their historical development.

Readers looking for a more in depth analysis of what forces are occurring in these two rising powers may want to opt for the more comprehensive accounts offered by, `India Unbound', G. Das and `China Shakes the World', J. Hynge. However, if you are looking for a broad view on this topic then David Smith combines an insightful perspective in a very readable account.
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