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Publisher's Summary

When Lee Kuan Yew speaks, presidents, prime ministers, diplomats, and CEOs listen.
Lee, the founding father of modern Singapore and its prime minister from 1959 to 1990, has honed his wisdom during more than fifty years on the world stage. Almost single-handedly responsible for transforming Singapore into a Western-style economic success, he offers a unique perspective on the geopolitics of East and West. American presidents from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama have welcomed him to the White House; British prime ministers from Margaret Thatcher to Tony Blair have recognized his wisdom; and business leaders from Rupert Murdoch to Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil, have praised his accomplishments.
This book gathers key insights from interviews, speeches, and Lee's voluminous published writings and presents them in an engaging question and answer format. Lee offers his assessment of China's future, asserting, among other things, that "China will want to share this century as co-equals with the U.S." He affirms the United States' position as the world's sole superpower but expresses dismay at the vagaries of its political system. He offers strategic advice for dealing with China and goes on to discuss India'sfuture, Islamic terrorism, economic growth, geopolitics and globalization, and democracy.
Lee does not pull his punches, offering his unvarnished opinions on multiculturalism, the welfare state, education, and the free market. This audiobook belongs on the reading list of every world leader - including the one who took the oath of office on January 20, 2013.
©2012 Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jean on 12-11-14


Until I read this short book I did not know much about Yew except that he took over Singapore after World War II and is the founding father of modern Singapore. Yew was Prime Minister from 1959-1990.

Graham Allison and Robert Blackwell two leading strategic thinkers asked Yew questions and also put together information from his voluminous writings and speeches. The book is mainly in a question and answer format, the result is this concise, but important book.

I found myself engrossed in the incisive wisdom presented by Yew. I really enjoyed the following comment in the book. “China tells us that countries big and small are equal, that it is not a hegemon; but when we do something they do not like, they say you have made 1.3 billion people unhappy. So please know your place.” When asked if India will match China’s rise? Yew said “Not likely, India is not a real country. Instead, it is 32 separate nations that happen to be arrayed along the British rail line.” I think Yew’s comments about China are right on the mark. When asked by the authors will China accept its place within the postwar order created by the United States? Yew answered, “No. It is China’s intention to become the greatest power in the world—and to be accepted as China, not as an honorary member of the West.” One comment he made has got my attention. Yew said “The United States focuses on individual rights but has failed to pair this with individual responsibility.

Yew is 90 years old and his comments on the United States are pertinent to many of the debates in which we are enmeshed today. This book has triggered my interest to learn more about this most insightful man. Michael McConnohie and Francis Chau narrated the book.

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9 of 10 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Matthew on 05-25-18


Excellent portrayal of the thinking of one of the wisest public servants of our age. Very illuminating, I thoroughly recommend this for anyone interested in Lee Kuan Yew, major geopolitical and economic world trends, or political theory. Remarkable.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Sejin Pak on 09-16-15

Falls short of expectation

Based on interviews. That us the value of thos book: to hear the opinion of Lee Kuan Yew on various matters. Would have been good for one hour long documentary. The beginning od the book is nearly a chapter of praises of Lee by all kinds of people which in my view downgrade the quality of book. I got this one only because Lee's autobiography was not available in audiobook, and I feel that I made a wrong decision.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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