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World On Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred

World On Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred [Kindle Edition]

Amy Chua
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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"There is a plethora of books about globalisation, many saying roughly the same thing. This one is different ... This book is a gem ... Her theme is different, rich and compelling ... A pleasure to read" (Guardian)

"Very, very readable; very powerful - this is a very illuminating book" (Clare Short A Good Read)

"The greatest tribute to any book is the conviction upon closing it that the senseless finally makes sense. That's the feeling left by Amy Chua's World on Fire ... provocative, evocative, nuanced and highly readable, starting at page one" (Washington Post)

"Ambitiously conceived, impressively researched and gracefully written, Amanda Foreman has crafted a narrative rich in detail, anecdote, insight and personalities. It puts a human face - many human faces - on a brutal conflict remorselessly descending into an inhuman total war" (Brian Jenkins)

"A tour de force, a work of extreme virtuosity both in the research and the telling" (Bloomberg News)


"Provocative, evocative, nuanced, and highly readable. . . . Amy Chua deserves our gratitude." --"The Washington Post
""Fascinating and disturbing . . . with an authority born of rigorous research." --"BusinessWeek
""World on Fire deserves to be widely read. It is a welcome antidote to the recycled mantras of the market-cheering right and the tired rhetoric of the anti-globalization left." --"The American Prospect
""Superb. . . . Encourages us to confront the world as it is, and our actual place in it, with a humane and intellectually formidable imagination." --"The New York Observer
""A riveting and original book that challenges key tenets of American political faith." --"The Baltimore Sun
""This hard-hitting book should be read by everyone who still imagines that free markets can solve all the world's ills. Chua's work is provocative, creative, and important; it turns conventional wisdom on its head, and no one interested in globalization can afford to ignore it."--Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America"
""Provocative. . . . Shocking. . . . It should make Americans think twice about exporting their political culture wholesale without a thought of who dislikes whom."--"Seattle Times
""["World on Fire"] makes for compelling reading and sounds a sobering warning that should be heeded by all supporters and critics of globalization." --"Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
""A profound book, written in plain English, and challenging the very foundations of some glib--and dangerous--assumptions behind American foreign policy. This book should be read in the highest circles of decision-making, as well as by all those who like toconsider themselves 'thinking people.' It should provoke some re-thinking--and, for some, really thinking for the first time."--Thomas Sowell, Hoover Institution, and author of Ethnic America, Race and Culture"
""A brilliant, groundbreaking assault on the prevailing wisdom that the American political and economic model is a one-stop solution to the world's woes." --"Elle
""Grim and thoughtful. . . . A clear-headed incisive diagnosis of the many ethnic ills of the globalizing era." --"Mother Jones
""Clear and persuasive. . . . Chua is a careful, precise writer." --"Salon
""Chua's book is a lucid, powerfully argued, and important contribution to the debate over the forces and factors shaping the twenty-first century world." --Strobe Talbott, President, The Brookings Institution, and author of The Age of Terror: America and the World After September 11"
""A cogent analysis...convincingly reason[ed]."--"The Boston Herald
""Chua offers a fundamentally new perspective on how to help sustain globalization by spreading its benefits while curbing its most destructive aspects. . . . Compelling." --"The Tampa Tribune
""Remarkably illuminating. . . . I cannot think of another work over the past couple of decades that reveals more about the disturbing persistence internationally of racial and ethnic conflicts." --Randall Kennedy, author of Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word"
""Drawing on examples from Burma to Bolivia, Chua paints a nuanced picture of ethnic and national fault lines. . . . [She] fleshes out the idea that globalization is not a magical elixir for developing nations." --"Newsweek
""A barrage of examples supports Chua's thesis, eachdescribed with careful consideration of the different circumstances of different nations. . . . [T]old with a dramatic flair. . ." - "The Weekly Standard
""The greatest tribute to any book is the conviction upon closing it that the senseless finally makes sense. That's the feeling left by Amy Chua's World on Fire." --"The Washington Post

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 740 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B009IJ74UI
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital; New Ed edition (23 Feb 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #375,988 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good case, but sometimes overdone 8 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A stimulating book full of insights from all over the world. The main argument is that free market democracy can lead to violence against market-dominant minorities. It is a broadside attack at American policy of exporting democracy will-nilly. Not being American, I feel less concerned at this polemical point.

The argument clearly applies in many cases cited, and the insights extended my understanding. How Chua overdoes it sometimes. For example, Croatians are cited as being attacked by Serbs because they were a market-dominant minority. Not convincing. There were longstanding ethnic disputes which had little or nothing to do with economy. Slovenia WAS a market-dominant economy, but it got away into independence virtually unscathed in 1991.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but flawed 13 July 2009
By Ross
I'll assume that most people reading this are familiar with Any Chua's basic idea of `Market Dominant minorities' and the hostility that they receive. When I first read this a few years ago I thought it was fantastic and explained so much. However rereading it recently I have doubts.

The phenomenon certainly does exist in much of the world, the overseas Chinese (of which her family is part) has achieved enormous economic dominance in much of East Asia and been the victim of mob violence repeatedly as a result over the course of many centuries. The Lebanese in West Africa, Indians in East Africa and Jews in Eastern Europe are also examples of ethnic minorities vastly out performing the indigenous population.

However there are some things that leave me unconvinced, Chua claims that these resentments are likely to be inflamed by democracy and free markets. It is certainly true that free markets exacerbate the differences but World On Fire gives examples of this kind of mob violence going back centuries, to well before the era of democracy. Some of the outbreaks of violence, such as the anti Chinese riots in Indonesia in 1998 were concurrent with democracy, but surely this is because the same forces that weakened the grip of the dictator, Suharto, weakened the states control of law and order.

Secondly she tries to fit the Market Dominant Minorities idea to too many conflicts, for example she emphasises that the Croats were much wealthier than the Serbs as a possible cause of the bloody Yugoslav wars. Yet Serbian nationalist propaganda and violence was initially directed to a much greater extent at the impoverished ethnic Albanians.

Thirdly think her concept needs refinement.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The premise of the book is that the spread of free market capitalism and democracy are assumed to be desirable by most policy makers. "Free markets and free men" being the maxim. However, Chua argues that free market capitalism allows the concentration of large amounts of wealth in the hands of a privileged minority. By contrast, democracy concentrates power in the hands of the majority. The majority will naturally resent the wealth of the minority and will see democracy as a means to seize the wealth of the minority. Thus, the spread of free market capitalism and democracy can actually be a bad thing in some parts of the world.

This friction between the poor majority and rich minority are especially severe where there is an ethnic dimension to these identities. Chua argues that in many countries, certain ethnic minorities often do disproportionately well economically in sharp contrast to the ethnic native majority community in which it resides. For example, the whites of Zimbabwe were an extremely successful market dominant minority, in sharp contrast to the native black majority around them. The black community voted in Mugabe, largely on his promise to seize the wealth of the whites and "redistribute" it.

Chua argues that in this set up, there are two possible alternatives - one, is that the poorer ethnic majority will elect a Mugabe-like tyrant who will seize the wealth of the minority, but in doing so drive them and their expertise out. The second is that the ethnic minority will take anti-democratic measures so as to suppress popular demands for redistribution of wealth.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This examination of the effects of US led globalisation sheds light on an otherwise seldom discussed aspect of the phenomenon. The (frequently 'foreign') minority that becomes exceedingly rich from the spoils of the export of capitalism are inciting a backlash by 'ordinary' disgruntled people, so it is claimed, and duly, many pertinent examples are cited.
Yet, there is the feeling that although good references and suitable examples are offered, there is still somewhat of a jump between the reasons for 'Why They All Hate Us' - a chapter title, and any conclusions that are subsequently drawn.
In much the same way as Bracken's 'Fire in the East' purports the angry, vengeance-seeking rise of the 'East', just does not ring true, so too it is with this book. However, the book is interesting and not dry in an academic sense, and highlights yet more potential problems of capitalism and globalisation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Be careful where you try and plant democracy & free markets
Excellent summary of the problems of trying to build democracy & free markets in the context of the hegemony of minority ethnic elites.
Published 7 months ago by Roy J Squires
5.0 out of 5 stars World on Fire
far from making the world a better and safer place, democracy and capitalism - at least in the raw, unrestrained form in which they are currently being exported - are intensifying... Read more
Published on 30 Nov 2012 by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Too ambitious to prove anything, but does raise interesting points for...
World on Fire scores well as a piece of helpful shock therapy. For anyone assuming American policy toward the developing world is inevitably benign, Amy Chua gives them plenty to... Read more
Published on 30 April 2012 by Strangerbird
2.0 out of 5 stars The fire next time?
"World on fire" argues that globalization has made matters worse, not better, in most Third World nations. Read more
Published on 25 Dec 2010 by Ashtar Command
2.0 out of 5 stars Market-dominant minorities, ethnic hatred and democracy
With many examples of ethnic conflicts all over the world, Amy Chua shows that the combined pursuit of free markets and democratization in countries with market-dominant minorities... Read more
Published on 23 Dec 2010 by Luc REYNAERT
4.0 out of 5 stars Globalised hatreds
Starting from the position of the Chinese in South-East Asia, this book looks all round the world at cases where a minority population is better at business, becomes rich and... Read more
Published on 11 Jun 2010 by GwydionM
5.0 out of 5 stars amy chua
great read and a truly thought out comprehensive approach to an evaluation of ethnic minorities of certain states dominating. could all black British people read this please.
Published on 7 Jun 2010 by Coffee Lawyer
1.0 out of 5 stars Deeply unpleasant book - anti-democracy
Chua is a Professor at Yale Law School. In Part 1 she describes globalisation's economic impact, in Part 2 its political consequences, and in Part 3 she warns that the USA should... Read more
Published on 1 May 2009 by William Podmore
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
An interesting book analysing the negative effects of globalisation and capitalism on poorer nations and their people.
Published on 15 Oct 2003
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