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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.

What listeners say about Lee Kuan Yew

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Right up my street

I love reading but reading this book was like someone had translated and put into text my pattern of thoughts. Absolutely brilliant and a must read. I am definitely recommending and buying copies as gifts for selected friends

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Master Mind

Grand Statesman (although Lee did not intend to be) set out an insightful and realistic analysis for the world order

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Brilliant read / Listen

Loved it , Crisp , cutting edge , raw thought provoking insightful wisdom !!!

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Outstanding

Best practical insights I have read on how nations develop. This is a must read.

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exceptional! Intriguingly clear and bold

This is a book for those who are curios and determined to build greater things in life for the greater good. It is related in an interview style that seduces your attention which reveals the wisdom of one of the greatest entrepreneurs of all times, who has built a healthy and reference start-up: the state of Singapore.

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Poorly Edited

LKY is a grandmaster of policy making. Unfortunately, this book is butchering existing speeches and books together to answer some questions the authors thought are interesting for a Western audience. You probably get a better sense of the man if you just listen to some of his speeches on youtube.

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Alright

A number of good insights about different countries. Nothing much on the specifics of how Singapore rose from the 3rd world to the 1st. Great insights into welfarism and the decline of some Western countries. Disappointed about his attitude to the students of Tiananmen Square. overall-mixed feelings about this book.

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analysis of world powers from a wise man

Lee is a wise man and very acknowledgeable. He says he had no philosophy but his approach speaks he's pragmatist (that which works is good) and utilitarian (greatest good for greatest numbers).
He identified well the virtues that make a human being successful and applied it to Singapore. This book is unfortunately not about details of how Lee made Singapore successful but about his view on evening and statesmanship in general. It's still good, best analysis of world powers I've ever read but I wish I picked a book about Lee himself and details of his work on Singapore.

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  • Jean
  • 11-12-14

Thought-provoking

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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  • VaDavid
  • 27-04-20

Excellent Insights

It's hard to describe how insightful this book is on a pragmatic approach to leadership. Lee Kuan Yew's insights and actions as a leader transformed his "city" into an internationally recognized financial power center. After listening to his thoughts on different perspectives from cultural to civic responsibilities, you get a sense for the man that transformed his tiny country into the Asian power player it is today. If you're a politically correct person - walk away. Lee Kuan Yew is NOT for you. His philosophies carry aspects of Confucian, Clausewitz, and even some Hobbes. Critical to everyone and yet complimentary to everyone - this book is a must for students of international relations.

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  • jah C.
  • 09-11-19

Very inciteful geo-political views by Lee Kuan Yew

Very inciteful geo-political views by Lee Kuan Yew. He is indeed an asset the up coming Generation Z politicians.

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  • Ismael R Cabello Jr
  • 27-12-17

Great Insightful Mind

This was a great listen. I enjoyed very much the ideas of this man.
This is a good book to read or listen to to have a view of the current political worlds

1 person found this helpful

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  • Desmond Hughes
  • 04-08-21

good snippets, but more substance required

this is not a criticism of LKW himself, much of the information was of high value and insightful. The overly long quotes from others spoiled the feeling somewhat prior to the main topics. this felt disjointed and there was a degree of repetition.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-07-21

Nourishment for the brain

Great thinking, education, food for thought
Singapore is truly bless to have a leader like him to serve us

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  • Yip
  • 26-06-21

A worthy book - impressive & mind stimulating.

The book is even more relevant today, in light of coming chaos. I recommend coming back to this book after 2025 to see if things fall into place as predicted......

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  • Alejandro
  • 06-06-21

Sublime

You do not need to work in politics to find his insights valuable. I believe they apply to any area.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-04-21

Make this your first book about U.S./China!

This is a series of interviews from a master statesman and premier China expert! Not only does he offer indispensable wisdom about China and their true intentions to replace the U.S. as a global hegemon. He offers incomparable insight into U.S. culture, which those of us who live here may understand implicitly but struggle to articulate. look no further here it is!

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  • A. M.
  • 07-04-21

Dated but not irrelevant

For its time, Lee Kuan Yew's geopolitical view was sound. However, change happens in spurts, not gradually, as Yew surmised. Xi Jinping is a different animal from his predecessors, and like Hitler, he has an internal clock that is limited. It's Xi who is driving the pace of military expansion, geopolitical aggression, and nationalistic fervor. These changes are exponential, not piecemeal.

Xi will seek to challenge the US in a showdown like China has done several times in recent history against superior powers. But in the South China Sea -- in its backyard -- China is the dominant power. Xi intends to show the world that China has arrived on his watch.

As much as I respect Mr. Yew, his thesis is now obsolete. I suggest Graham Allison's book "Destined for War" instead.