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The Four Little Dragons: Spread of Industrialization in East Asia (Edwin O.Reischauer Lectures) (The Edwin O.Reischauer Lectures) [Paperback]

Ezra F Vogel
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

1 Jun 1993 The Edwin O.Reischauer Lectures (Book 3)
Vogel aims to bring insight to the underlying question of why Japan and the little dragons - Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore - have been so extraordinarily successful in industrializing while other developing countries have not.

Product details

  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; New Ed edition (1 Jun 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067431526X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674315266
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 13.7 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,342,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

[Vogel] explains how government and industry have interacted in South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong, turning charity case nations into business school case studies. [This book] may be the quickest dose of reality yet for anyone left with a romantic vision of Asia. -- David E. Sanger New York Times Book Review Ezra Vogel...provides a fascinating look at the economies of Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore...This well-documented analysis is recommended as good background reading for those doing business in East Asia and anyone looking for general information about the explosive economic growth in these countries. -- Greg Jones China Business Review What a ride it's been for East Asians, and Vogel captures nicely, in conversational prose, the highlights of the Pacific Rim's 40-year march to industrial greatness in sectors as different as shipbuilding and textiles. It is an achievement that refutes, once and for all, the notion that industrial revolutions only occur in the West. -- Davis Bushnell Boston Globe Ezra Vogel has written an immediately attractive book...[His] account of the spread of industrialization in the four countries is always eminently readable, yet scholarly and authoritative, with just the right amount of sharp detail. -- Rupert Hodder Times Higher Education Supplement

About the Author

Ezra F. Vogel is Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus at Harvard and former Director of Harvard's Fairbank Center for East Asian Research and the Asia Center.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
IN EAST ASIA, the dragon has been a compelling symbol of power for over a millennium. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Brief Overview of the Dragons 6 Oct 2011
By James
Format:Paperback
Originally published in 1993, 'The Four Little Dragons' is a brief overview of the political and economic policies responsible for the breathtaking speed with which four seemingly no-hopers (some more than others) caught up to, and in some cases surpassed, the developed West. By the same writer as the best-selling but now somewhat quaint 'Japan as Number One,' this short book does not go into excessive detail, but does provide a solid enough beginning for anyone interested in understanding the subject.

The first half of the book consists of short chapters focussing specifically on Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore, though the latter two get much less attention. At the forefront is of course the role of technocrat-led, (more or less) benevolent dictatorships in accomplishing the countries' respective economic miracles (and until I read this, I didn't know how much Korea's growth in particular was truly deserving of that supernatural term).

The second half is titled 'Towards an Explanation', and attempts to make its way to just that. Together with a largely meritocratic bureaucratic system that thereby gained people's respect and consent to rule, and could thus put in to effect their grand schemes, Vogel points out five 'situational factors' that came together to give a powerful advantage to these East Asian nation(state)s. These are "US aid, the destruction of the old order, a sense of political and economic urgency, an eager and plentiful labour force, and familiarity with the Japanese model of success."

Being only a short book Vogel does not go into depth to demonstrate and back up his arguments or viewpoints, but I suppose that is somewhat beside the point here. All in all it is an easy read, and a good foundation to build upon (well, apart from the almost non-existent section on Hong Kong...). Now I'm off to get Ha-Joon Chang's treatment of this subject.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise, scholarly study of the post-war "little dragons" 27 Mar 1999
By Dex Randall Howard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Case studies of the post-war economic development of South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. A concise and scholarly work. Though all "Asian," these countries differ, yet each have done well economically.Why so? Vogel offers an answer. I'm writing this, 26 March 1999. East Asia is experiencing extreme economic difficulties, but this does not undo what has occurred nor remove the possibility for future development. If you're doing business in East Asia, Four Little Dragons will provide you with a quick read-in to four major players.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The industrial growth of East Asia 27 Oct 2010
By jgacis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
While this book was written more than 19 years ago, I still found much relevance in the information found in this book after reading it. The author gives a meaningful explanation of why Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore (little dragons) were able to grow very rapidly over tremendous hurdles while other asian countries have not. China today continues to dominate the asian economic headlines but after reading Vogel's book, one can still see how industrialization in a Confucian society makes a difference, even in small dragon countries.

In the first half of the book, the author explains how the colonial history and influence Japan imposed on Taiwan and South Korea made a profound impact on their economic development. Technology and socio-political values of early leadership in these small countries are also discussed and given relationship to their historical ties with Japan. In the second half, Hong Kong and Singapore are briefly discussed. Their unique development of growth are summarized by their special circumstances of geographic location and influence by the British. Although the discussion of the last two countries (Hong Kong and Singapore) were short (about 6 and 8 pages respectively - out of 112 pages), the author does expand on all the countries' asian heritage and common traits in the last chapter.

I enjoyed reading the book, finding it historically informative and insightful. The story Vogel presents is clear and structured to explain his opinions, focusing more on past analysis rather than numerical analysis or future trends. While more varied specific examples may have helped to support his views better, the book is just long enough and well written (for the general reader) to make its point.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 4 July 2014
By pen name - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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