Lee was rather prolific, writing seven books in later life; From Third World to First is the second of his two-volume memoirs, covering the period. Lee Kuan Yew, who has died aged 91, presided over a turnround in the economic fortunes of his nation, taking it from a colonial backwater to. From Third World to First: The Singapore Story - Hardcover – October 3, Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and. It's a dramatic story, and Lee Kuan Yew has much to brag about.


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Lee Kuan Yew may be one of the most consequential persons of the 20th century - in the demonstrated case of Singapore, and in his commentary to Deng Xiaoping in the late s. In short, it is his attempt to from third world to first market capitalism from fully democratic institutions.

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It may have proved a decisive influence in early Chinese reforms, and eventually the 'Chinese model' of political reform. Lee Kuan Yew's memoirs.


Given his Addendum February 24, Given his extremely busy life as a statesman over the past 30 years, this volume is not arranged in chronological order.

Instead, LKY organizes it from third world to first two broad sections - the first on domestic policy, and the second on foreign relations.

Singapore: From third world to first

The combinations of his political positions may seem odd to most Americans. In trade, he is a free market proponent, in domestic social spending he is a pragmatic social democrat, from third world to first a progressive but light tax policy.

In the early years, he was a New-Deal technocrat public works advocate, but also fiercely anti-Communist. He notes the hazardous effect of the 'resource curse' on colonial nations - where MNCs swoop in, harvest the resources, and leave little benefit for the rest of the population save a few autocrats.

He wryly notes that Singapore dodged that bullet by having no natural resources, and instead must aim for human development so as to avoid exploitation. Therefore, he advertised the place as a financial and technical center, with an educated and motivated populace.

From Third World to First: The Singapore Story: by Lee Kuan Yew

It gained a lot of appeal that way. It's also interesting how he managed to develop an education system, juggling four from third world to first languages and preventing ethnic tensions, building up a university system while preventing the Communists from South-East Asia from infiltrating it.

In the early years, the Cultural Revolution was in full swing, and LKY was merciless in the imprisonment, exile, or execution of suspected dissidents.


But in many ways, they've worked. The economic development of the past 50 years was a whiplash for some.

LKY shares stories of new apartment goers in the early years trying to coax their pigs and chickens upstairs. Foreign policy for Singapore in the early years was also an immense juggling act.

After their expulsion from Malaysia, and the departure of British troops in the s, Singapore was left largely alone against Indonesia and Malaysia, who both coveted Singapore's strategic location, and communist movements in From third world to first as a whole.

His initial strategy was two-fold: Second, develop stronger ties with the rest of the British Commonwealth Australia and New Zealand from third world to first particularJapan, and the United States as a major trading partner, so that nobody would dare attack them without angering larger, more powerful friends.

After Singapore's establishment as a developed nation, he moves on to broader topics on foreign policy. He sides with Thatcher on economic policy, but disapproves of her response to the miners and neutral response to Apartheid in South Africa.

Obviously, he has little tolerance for European racial hegemony, as it would only exacerbate any worries about 'regional security'. His reach in foreign policy is broad.

Singapore: From third world to first - BBC News

He speaks of 'national character' and the balance of power as realists do, but also of personal agency and the personalities of the leaders. His analyses are brutal at times, but still very interesting.

His relationship with China was of particular interest.


His initial relations were harried, at best, as the early stages of Singapore's independence coincided with the Cultural Revolution, and he was concerned about the terrifying rumors which filtered out through refugees.

In the late s, however, a certain Deng Xiaoping rose to power, and paid a visit to Singapore. LKY relates that he was very impressed with Singapore's economic development, from a colonial outpost to a trading power.

He lamented the enormity of from third world to first task - "If only I had a city to run, like Shanghai, instead of all of China.