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Can Asians Think?: Understanding the Divide Between East and Westby Kishore Mahbubani
Synopses & Reviews
KISHORE MAHBUBANI has been hailed as "an Asian Toynbee, preoccupied with the rise and fall of civilizations" (The Economist), a "Max Weber of the new 'Confucian ethic'" (Washington Post), and "a prototype twenty-first century leader" (Time). A must-read for anyone with even a passing interest in contemporary Asia, this collection of provocative essays is certain to challenge the way you think.
Asia's societies were more culturally and economically advanced than Europe's at the end of the first millennium. And yet by the nineteenth century the West had leaped so far ahead that even some Asians themselves harbored images of inferiority.
Mahbubani's analysis of the past and predictions for the future amount to a wake-up call to Asians and Westerners alike. In diverse pieces such as "The Ten Commandments for Developing Countries" and "The Dangers of Decadence: What the Rest Can Teach the West," he asserts that Westerners are largely unaware of their condescending attitudes and practices toward the East and maintain that outdated worldview at their own peril - Asia's economies are poised to surpass those of Europe and North America within the next fifty years. No one who reads these iconoclastic, unabashed arguments will ever regard East-West relations in the same light.
“If you are looking for insight into how others perceive usand the events of September 11 underscore that needthen I know of no better guide than Kishore Mahbubani. His collection of lively essays will both inform and challenge your thinking.”
-- Paul Volcker
“This book is a collection of absolutely first-rate essays, elegantly written. . . . Mahbubani has an instinct for the jugular when it comes to identifying a critical issue and setting forth a powerful thesis concerning it.”
-- Samuel P. Huntington
Author of The Clash of Civilizations
“Interesting, provocative, and intellectually engaging.”
-- Henry Kissinger
In these elegantly written essays, Mahbubani sets forth a wake-up call to Asians and Westerners alike. In such diverse pieces as "The Ten Commandments for Developing Countries" and "The Dangers of Decadence: What the Rest Can Teach the West, " the author challenges the West's intellectual universe, arguing that Western consciousness has become trapped in intellectual rigidity.
About the Author
KISHORE MAHBUBANI, a career diplomat, is a native of Singapore. He has been a fellow at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs and served diplomatic assignments in Cambodia, Malaysia, and Canada. He is currently serving his second separate term as his country's ambassador to the United Nations. He lives in New York with his wife and three children.
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