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’s future, 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 little book belongs on the reading list of every world leader—including the one who takes the oath of office on January 20, 2013.
About the Authors
Graham Allison is Douglas Dillon Professor of Government and Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Robert D. Blackwill is Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Ali Wyne is an associate of the Belfer Center.
“If you are interested in the future of Asia, which means the future of the world, you've got to read this book.”—Fareed Zakaria, CNN
“Lee's powerful intellect is captured in a new book, Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World . It's a collection of interviews with him by Harvard University professor Graham Allison, Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow Robert Blackwill and Harvard's Belfer Center researcher Ali Wyne, while also drawing on other selected and cited writings by and about Lee. Now 89, officially retired and somewhat frail, Lee has mellowed with age — not unlike his creation Singapore, governed today with a lighter touch even as its citizens grow more vocal. Yet, as the book, and the adaptation here of the China chapter, reveal, Lee is as sharp, direct and prescient as ever. Though the volume was completed before China's current territorial tensions with its neighbors, it helps expose, and explain, Beijing's hardball mind-set.” —TIME Magazine
“Graham Allison and Bob Blackwill have important questions to ask about China, America and the extraordinary impact of the relationship of those two countries on the rest of the world. For answers, they turned to Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first premier and one of the world’s most formidable geopolitical thinkers and strategists. The result is a fascinating book called Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World.” —Ian Bremmer, Reuters
“Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World forms a kind of last testament of the ailing, 89-year-old Mr. Lee. It is based on interviews with Mr. Lee by the authors—Graham Allison, a professor of government at Harvard's Kennedy School, and Robert Blackwill, a former U.S. diplomat—to which the authors add a distillation of Mr. Lee's speeches, writings and interviews with others over many years.”
—Karen Elliott House, Wall Street Journal
“Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World is an anthology of interviews and speeches Lee has given over the last four decades…readers will find themselves entertained and challenged by Lee Kuan Yew's lucidity, powerful arguments and acerbic tongue.”
—Anchalee Kongrut, Economic Observer
“Lee is a force of nature. Up close and personal, he can blow you away with one overpowering dismissive glare. Has there ever been anyone like him? ... [The book] will reinforce the consensus view that Asia bred something special in Lee.”
—Tom Plate, South China Morning Post
“Lee excels in pithy evaluations of regional and national strengths and weaknesses. At his best, the man is a cross between Confucius and Machiavelli.”
—Aram Bakshian Jr., Washington Times