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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.

What listeners say about Lee Kuan Yew

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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.

12 people found this helpful

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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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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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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

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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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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.

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A must listen!

Any Western person wanting to get inside the mind of a great Asian leader should listen to the book, not once or twice, but often! He challenges one to think outside of what most westerners think is normal, humanitarian democracy and governmental practices. In addition, he was one of the few governmental leaders who can truly be called a gentleman.

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How to make a great Nation - by a Nation Builder

Singapore will probably replace NYC as the most important business city in the world, this will largely be due to the hard work of this brilliant man.

It's awesome that he can be so candid and open. This is truly authentic self expression. You will learn something.

The wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew rings through the content. It's worth every penny.

It is a great book to read after a Joe Studwell book. The Studwell books cover the Economic Environment of Asia since WW2 and this book covers how Lee Kuan Yew applied Realpolitik brilliantly in Asia's dynamic conditions.

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Enlightening

This was an enlightening look into the mind of a brilliant man. I will add this to the short list of books to be regularly re-read.

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Lesson in Global Foreign Policy thinking

I enjoyed this. Had the opportunity a few years ago to spend a week in Singapore at the Lee Kuan Yew school of public policy. And witness for myself some of the great results of the transformation.

There are some provocative views and some hard core believers in democracy might challenge some of his principles. None can challenge the results.

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  • WinnieK
  • 01-26-19

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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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-15-20

Master Mind

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Salil Sud
  • 11-23-19

Brilliant read / Listen

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • David Negrelli
  • 01-20-19

Outstanding

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

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-06-21

American Foreign policy is failing

I wish Blinken read this book before yapping his mouth in Alaska. The greatest leader (in peaceful times) of the 20th century who had the best understanding of a multicultural earth predicted the right diplomatic moves to take to appease a rising China so they can behave responsibly, now with Western Media propaganda against China, we don't know how they will behave. We have to hope they are responsible. So far so good. But decline of America might be faster than we think. The rest of the world shares the sentiment of humiliation from the West, and it's impossible to detach from chinese economic influence

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  • Sejin Pak
  • 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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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-07-21

Best narration, speach and clarity of audio!

both the author and the narrator must be equally credited to making this audio book a success!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-09-20

A gem

A wonderful book that both educates the reader on geopolitics while providing insight in to the thinking of Lee Kuan Yew.

It becomes easier to understand the impact he had on Singapore’s success and why world leaders enjoyed his conversation.

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  • Yicheng
  • 12-30-19

When Lee Kuan Yew speaks, you listen!

Deeply insightful thoughts and a great mind, a must-read for everyone who is interested in politics, economics and trades.