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The problem with Robyn Meredith's book is that she cannot make up her mind. Alternately a fundamentalist free-trader and then demanding more government regulation, she fails to have more than an ad hoc understanding of China and India. Perhaps this because she has no clear understanding of either countries history. Content with caricatures, she never really tries to understand the broad sweep of either of these countries 3000+ history or culture.
The other thing the alert reader will find distressing is her easy switching between anecdote and statistics and real numbers. The combination of which appears to make an argument, but in reality actually hides the truth rather than presents it. When Meredith states that "tens of millions of Chinese have been lifted out of poverty" that sounds impressive until one realizes that such a number would still leave more than 90% of the country impoverished. By failing to stick with more consistent statistical percentages, Meredith can create an illusion of greater prosperity than is really merited.
Certainly, this is a better introduction to the issues of Globalization than Tom Friedman's rightfully excoriated work and yet it suffers from some of the same problems of substituting isolated anecdotes for real data. It is by no means a scholarly book and should be taken as a business reporters reflections rather than a real contribution to understanding the economics of gloablization.
A word also about the audiobook for audible listeners. The narrator here has a mechanical voice that I was convinced was computer generated for quite a while. Her lifeless reading makes the book that much more difficult to take. When combined with the myriad flaws of the text itself I would give this book a pass. I am still looking for a good book on globalization on audible. If I find one I will update this review.
27 of 27 people found this review helpful
This is an excellent synopsis of the emerging Asian economies of China and India presaging the implications of their economic growth and "coming of age" as global powers.
The author does a wonderful job of combining economic statistics with the stories of leaders and individuals that illustrate the meaning of the raw numbers. Economics may be the "dismal science," but Robyn Meredith makes it quite readable, even enjoyable.
Some of author's own political opinions color the "hard facts" contained in this book - which would be fine if clearly written as such. On the other hand, it would be almost impossible to write anything but the most bland statistical "yada, yada, yada" on this theme without some of the author's point of view creeping into the pages. Fortunately, these "transgressions" are few and detract little from the overall reading (or listening) experience.
On a technical note, the audio recording's volume levels seemed to be on the low side making listening on my "smartphone" difficult in the car, and other noisy environments. On my laptop, I could compensate for this, but some smartphone or portable MP3 player users may have similar difficulties. The recording's volume level can be corrected using volume compression, or normalization, during playback on many devices.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful