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Douglas Dillon Professor of Government
Director of Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Member of the Belfer Center Board of Directors and International Council
When Lee Kuan Yew speaks, who listens? Presidents, prime ministers, chief executives, and all who care about global strategy. Graham Allison and Robert Blackwill, two leading strategic thinkers, asked Lee Kuan Yew the toughest questions that matter most to thoughtful Americans weighing the challenges of the next quarter century. Drawing on their in-depth interviews with Lee as well as his voluminous writings and speeches, the authors extract the essence of his visionary thinking. The questions and answers that constitute the core of the book cover topics including the futures of China and the United States, U.S.-China relations, India, and globalization.
Lee Kuan Yew does not retell the well-known story of Singapore’s birth and growth to first-world status. Nor do the authors interject their own thoughts or try to psychoanalyze Lee. Instead, they present his strategic insights in his own words. The result is textured and comprehensive, yet direct and succinct. Allison and Blackwill bring to bear their own experience as veteran government officials and senior scholars; their questions focus on essential policy choices as the U.S. pivots toward Asia.
Lee, the founding father of modern Singapore and its prime minister from 1959 to 1990, has honed his wisdom during more than a half century on the world stage. He has served as a mentor to every Chinese leader from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping, and as a counselor to every U.S. president from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama. With his uniquely authoritative perspective on the geopolitics of East and West, Lee does not pull his punches.
At the outset of the second Obama Administration, Lee Kuan Yew is a timely and essential primer for every world leader and every reader who cares about the world.
“I have had the privilege of meeting many world leaders over the past half-century; none, however, has taught me more than Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first premier and its guiding spirit ever since... It will not take long for readers to discover why Lee is not only one of the seminal leaders of our period, but also a thinker recognized for his singular strategic acumen.”
— From the foreword by Henry A. Kissinger
“This book includes some of [Lee’s] most penetrating and insightful analyses of today’s global issues, and is a must-read for anyone trying to understand the future of world politics.”
— Fareed Zakaria, editor at large, Time Magazine