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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chindia calling
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...
Published on 1 Sep 2007 by B.Sudhakar Shenoy

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting but lacks inside knowledge and vision
timely and interesting topic and somewhat informative, but remains outside observations. The main obstacle is this: David Smith's discussions dont reveal the inner dynamics of vast changes inside China and India. For this, one should read two other books written by informed insiders based on the ground of these two nations. 1. India Unbound, by D. Das; 2. China and the...
Published on 30 Jun 2007 by globalization researcher and t...


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chindia calling, 1 Sep 2007
By 
B.Sudhakar Shenoy (India) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Dragon and the Elephant: China, India and the New World Order (Paperback)
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. But the only common undisputed factor that emerges is the fact that the world can no longer ignore the emergence of there two large economies on the global stage. Japan hogged the limelight in the 1970's and 80's only to be sucked into a painful slowdown for more than a decade in 1990's. The Asian tigers ran for cover, when their currencies virtually melted in a matter of days during the Asian financial crisis. China and India, on the face of it do not appear to be threatened by such reversals, though not completely immune to economic slowdowns, argues the author.

The possibilities of the combined effect of China and India on the global economy in the next four decades are well listed and explained in the last chapter of the book.

I recommend this book to all those who want to compare and contrast China and India in one book, and to understand their emergence and impact on planet earth in the twenty first century.
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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
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This review is from: The Dragon and the Elephant: China, India and the New World Order (Paperback)
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.

I can see myself periodically dipping into this book, to glean some of Smith's facts, revisit his anecdotes and to use the book as a reference point to further my knowledge in this area. There is no doubt this book has taught me a lot about how the world is changing and how the rise of the East is likely to shape our future.

I would highly recommend this book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OK, 4 Aug 2007
By 
bobbybobby (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Dragon and the Elephant: China, India and the New World Order (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Indian and Chinese economic history for laymen, 22 Feb 2008
By 
Rolf Dobelli "getAbstract" (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Dragon and the Elephant: China, India and the New World Order (Paperback)
If you read only one book about the global economic role of India and China, this should be it. David Smith does an excellent job of sketching the economic history of these countries, analyzing the obstacles and impediments they subjected themselves to for most of the 20th century, explaining how they broke the socialist yoke and assessing their prospects for the future. The prose is generally clear and free of jargon. Smith presents ample documentation and footnotes. His treatment of political and economic figures is for the most part well balanced. This is very much a layman's introduction to the economic emergence of India and China, but getAbstract finds that, unlike many recent books about the two nations, this one is intellectually respectable.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting but lacks inside knowledge and vision, 30 Jun 2007
This review is from: The Dragon and the Elephant: China, India and the New World Order (Paperback)
timely and interesting topic and somewhat informative, but remains outside observations. The main obstacle is this: David Smith's discussions dont reveal the inner dynamics of vast changes inside China and India. For this, one should read two other books written by informed insiders based on the ground of these two nations. 1. India Unbound, by D. Das; 2. China and the new world order, by George Zhibin Gu. Both books offer huge insights especially on the inner dynamics of these two ancient nations that are trying hard to catch up with the West. Furthermore, both books focus on the key issues: individual private initiative and creative entrepreneurship that are breaking away from the containment of traditional state power as well as the consequences.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting debate, but a lot of guesswork, 10 April 2011
This review is from: The Dragon and the Elephant: China, India and the New World Order (Paperback)
I bought this book, after having listened to Peter Day's recent radio series on the subject of China.

A problem with this work, is that the race hasn't even started yet. It seems unfair to compare the footing of China with India, when India is already behind due to economic and political circumstances of the last thirty years.

Personally, I think India is the elephant - lumbering along and taking its time, but establishing a firm and sure foothold. China is already encountering inflation problems due to unplanned and unsustainable growth.

With that in mind, this book gives the reader a grounding in the current race, but one that is too subject to change to predict effectively.

A sound read, but a little too much guesswork for my liking.
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