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.
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.
Graham Allison and Robert Blackwill Discuss New Book on Lee Kuan Yew
Published on Feb 26, 2013
Belfer Center Director Graham Allison and Ambassador Robert D. Blackwill discuss their new book Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World. The event was moderated by Belfer Center’s Executive Director for Research Gary Samore.
Lee Kuan Yew, 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. Allison and Blackwill 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, with assistance from Belfer Center associate Ali Wyne, extracted the essence of Lee’s visionary thinking for their book.
At this special event, Allison and Blackwill discuss Lee’s comments on topics such as the futures of China and the United States, U.S.-China relations, India, and globalization.