Not since the United States rose to prominence a century ago have we seen such tectonic shifts in global power; but India and China are vastly different nations, with opposing economic and political strategies - strategies we must understand in order to survive in the new global economy.
The Elephant and the Dragon explains how these two Asian nations, each with more than a billion people, have spurred a new "gold rush", and what this will mean for the rest of the world.
©2007 Robyn Meredith; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.
"Robyn Meredith's systematic analysis fills the gap in a spirited, readable manner." (Mike Wallace, 60 Minutes)
"An exciting and journalistic account of one of the great economic stories of our time: the transformation of China and India." (Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize winning economist)
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.
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.
I spent the whole book wondering: Is there really is someone so relentlessly bland employed in this capacity, or did they just have a computer read it? The info is good if a little dry, but the narrator put me to sleep faster than a nine-iron upside the head.
I'm sure I will listen to this at least two more times. If you enjoyed The World Is Flat, you will appreciate this also. The author provides a great snapshot of the historical underpinnings behind the growth of India and China and also explains the intersection of culture, politics and economics.
This book was a fantastic read (hear?). I didn't know anything about Indian or Chinese history and it gave me the basic tools to understand why both of these countries are drawing such attention, by drawing comparisons and contrasts between the two countries over the last 50 years. I feel "smarter" and more aware of current politics outside of the American political bubble we live in.
The only drawback (and this was my first audiobook so maybe this is just the way things are) was that the narrator sounded like an automaton, like a computer recorded voice that says "for english, press one."
Does an excellent job of explaining how both India and China came to hold near-superpower status. This book goes beyond The World is Flat as it addresses the link between the US and Chinese economies. I have recommeneded it to many friends and have listened to it many times.
This book had some interesting portions.
The summary of the industrialization of India is concise, solid, and compelling in a fact-y way. In addition, the discussion of the supply chains of modern goods is interesting and vivid.
The rest of the book is fairly forgettable. There is little original research nor are any interesting theses proposed. The writing is competent but not terribly engaging.
I recommend it if you are very interested in one of the above subjects. Otherwise take a pass.
The title delivers on the topic, except that the information is dated because this book was written before the global economic recession of 2008. The book's discussion and review of corporate activity in India and China is more glowing than I think is warranted. However the book does address problems for both the West and Eastern nations in the rise of these two Asian giants. It serves as a decent introduction to changes that have happened, are happening, and may happen for the world, and particularly the US, in light of Asia's economic development, Being unfamiliar with the topic except occasional newspaper articles, I found enough in this book to satisfy my initial interest. It paints a broad background sketch of some rapid changes that have occurred within the last couple decades.
The saccharin, complacent voice of Laural Merlington would suit a romance novel more than a book analyzing economic, social, and political trends. She reads clearly, but her tone and inflection do not support serious non-fiction. As I listened, I kept thinking a unicorn was going to arrive to save the day. I had the impression throughout the book that she was just reading rather than processing (understanding) the words.
Neglected to note the publishing date of this book - which was about 2007 - but there are many comments about "what is going to happen in 2006" - so the information in the changing economy is frustratingly out of date. Not worth it.
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