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From Third World to First: The Singapore Story: 1965-2000 (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 3. Oktober 2000

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In this memoir, the man most responsible for Singapore's astonishing transformation from colonial backwater to economic powerhouse describes how he did it over the last four decades. It's a dramatic story, and Lee Kuan Yew has much to brag about. To take a single example: Singapore had a per-capita GDP of just $400 when he became prime minister in 1959. When he left office in 1990, it was $12,200 and rising. (At the time of this book's writing, it was $22,000.) Much of this was accomplished through a unique mix of economic freedom and social control. Lee encouraged entrepreneurship, but also cracked down on liberties that most people in the West take for granted--chewing gum, for instance. It's banned in Singapore because of "the problems caused by spent chewing gum inserted into keyholes and mailboxes and on elevator buttons." If American politicians were to propose such a thing, they'd undoubtedly be run out of office. Lee, however, defends this and similar moves, such as strong antismoking laws and antispitting campaigns: "We would have been a grosser, ruder, cruder society had we not made these efforts to persuade people to change their ways.... It has made Singapore a more pleasant place to live in. If this is a 'nanny state,' I am proud to have fostered one."

Lee also describes one of his most controversial proposals: tax breaks and schooling incentives to encourage educated men and women to marry each other and have children. "Our best women were not reproducing themselves because men who were their educational equals did not want to marry them.... This lopsided marriage and procreation pattern could not be allowed to remain unmentioned and unchecked," writes Lee. Most of the book, however, is a chronicle of how Lee helped create so much material prosperity. Anticommunism is a strong theme throughout, and Lee comments broadly on international politics. He is cautiously friendly toward the United States, chastising it for a "dogmatic and evangelical" foreign policy that scolds other countries for human-rights violations, except when they interfere with American interests, "as in the oil-rich Arabian peninsula." Even so, he writes, "the United States is still the most benign of all the great powers.... [and] all noncommunist countries in East Asia prefer America to be the dominant weight in the power balance of the region." From Third World to First is not the most gripping book imaginable, but it is a vital document about a fascinating place in a time of profound transition. --John J. Miller


"Lee Kuan Yew is one of the brightest, ablest men I have ever met. This book is a must read for people interested in a true Asian success story. From this book, we also learn a lot about the thinking of one of this century's truly visionary statesmen."
-- George Bush
"In office, I read and analysed every speech of [Lee's]. He had a way of penetrating the fog of propaganda and expressing with unique clarity the issues of our time sand the way to tackle them. He was never wrong."
-- Margaret Thatcher
"Lee Kuan Yew deserves recognition? Under his leadership, Singapore... equipped schools with one computer for every two students, and connected every home to a broadband network. On top of all that, he's a great storyteller."
-- Scott McNealy, Chief Executive Officer of Sun Microsystems Inc.
"There are two equalizers in life: the Internet and education. Lee Kuan Yew is a world leader who understands this and is using the power of the Internet to position Singapore for survival and success in the Internet economy...His engaging memoirs discuss his efforts to reshape Singapore, integrating information technology into the country's businesses, government and homes."
-- John Chambers, President & CEO, Cisco Systems
"Whenever I met Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, I was deeply impressed by his intellect, his vision and the depth of hisunderstanding on history and society. No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, you will see in this book how a political leader of insight has led a tiny country to a prosperous modern society amid the tidal waves of world politics. And you will also find his ingenious views on Asia and the world to be a source of deep inspiration."
-- Kim Dae-jung, President of the Republic of Korea
"Lee Kuan Yew is one of the seminal figures of Asia, and this book does justice to his extraordinary accomplishments. Describing the motivations and concepts that have animated his conduct and explaining specific actions, he will undoubtedly raise many controversies. But whether one agrees or not, one will learn a great deal."
-- Dr. Henry A. Kissinger
"Mr. Lee Kuan Yew has gathered around himself the most brilliant minds, transforming the most exacting standards into a system of government. Under his leadership, the primacy of the general interest, the cult of education, work and saving, the capacity to foresee the needs of the city have enabled Singapore to take what I call ?shortcuts to progress."
-- Jacques Chirac
"This is a personal history of a man who, almost single-handedly, built a great nation from a small island? this is the first textbook in the world on how to build a nation."
-- Kiichi Miyazawa
"Lee Kuan Yew's vision, astutepolitical judgement and strategy turned Singapore from a trading post into the successful thriving nation that it is today, respected by others. For those interested in politics and economic development, his memoirs should be required reading."
-- Tun Daim Zainuddin
"Lee Kuan Yew is a statesman who created a successful nation. He has known everybody. He has achieved impossible things and his memoirs tell the truth."
-- William Rees-Mogg
"The title of this book, From Third World to First, expresses an aspiration of all developing countries but so far, alas, an achievement of very few. Singapore is one of those few. This account of its first years of independence written by its founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, will therefore be of great interest to people of other developing countries and to all those who are interested in their fate. It is also told with great clarity, in a refreshingly direct style. I found it a gripping read."
-- Kofi A. Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations
"More than 40 years ago, Lee Kuan Yew transformed what was a poor, decrepit colony into a shining, rich and modern metropolis -- all the time surrounded by hostile powers. With his brilliant, incisive intellect, he is one of the world's most outspoken and respected statesmen. This book is a ?must read' for any student of modern Asia."
-- Rupert Murdoch, Chairman & Chief Executive, NewsCorporation
"A man of vision and calibre, Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew can be credited for laying much of the foundation behind Singapore's present day success story. As one of Asia's most prominent leaders, he has also done much to help promote closer economic ties between the countries of Southeast Asia as a whole. His latest memoir, well articulated and highly interesting, provides a thought provoking insight and a new interpretation of the region's history and politics."
-- His Excellency Mr. Chuan Leekpai, Prime Minister of Thailand
"Lee's narrative is refreshingly free of the self-congratulatory tone of so many political memoirs...Useful reading for those with an informed interest in geopolitics."
-- "Kirkus Reviews
"Lee's role as a thinker, political philosopher, pragmatist and social observer emerges...strongly...this book (offers) ample, vivid and often startling accounts of Lee's numerous dealings with other world leaders. It is a veritable portrait gallery of statesmen, rogues, nationalists, and political ingenues."
-- "Far Eastern Economic Review
"Filled with precious insights into Lee Kuan Yew's thinking...after digesting this tour de force, whether they agree with him or not, readers will recognize in Lee a true Asian legend."
-- "Asiaweek
"Theheroic story of forging a thriving nation out of a piece of rock at the end of the hostile Malay peninsula...it's a story to warm a lot of the cockles of the heart of a ... democrat."
- "The Washington Times
"Blunt at times to the point of undiplomatic rudeness, Lee..remains.."part Confucius, part Calvin."..(his) scoldings made his country, his region, and thus the world a better place."
- "Boston Globe
"These are rich memoirs, the legacy of an extraordinary man, and in many ways, this book is like Lee himself: smart, thoughtful, blunt and provocative."
- "The New York Times Book Review
"Fascinating...even Mr Lee's critics must concede his courage and vision."
- "Wall Street Journal
"(A) fascinating account of the dramatic transformation of this island nation into a stable and prosperous society...an essential contribution (to understanding) why some socieities seem so successful in becoming important players in the global economy."
- "Booklist
"Fascinating...Lee is perhaps the greatest Asian strategic thinker of the modern world...(his)powerful memoir reveals a great deal."
- "Business Week
"Blessed with a powerful mind, driving energyand a strong personality (Lee Kuan Yew) made the Singapore story one of success, and established himself as one of the world's great pundits...a political memoir that is written with a trenchant, lucid style and a flair for the exciting tale."
- "The Economist

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Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Der Autor war von 1959 bis 1990 Premierminister von Singapur und ist damit mitverantwortlich für den spektakulären wirtschaftlichen Aufstieg und die politische Kultur des Stadtstaates. Das Buch ist als Autobiografie angelegt, beschreibt aber zugleich die Geschichte Südostasiens nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg.

Lee Kuan Yew hat sehr klare Vorstellungen über die erstrebenswerte Art einer menschlichen Gesellschaft, und diese Überzeugungen konnte er in Singapur in die Tat umsetzen. Produktiv arbeiten, Geld verdienen und sich weiterbilden, das sind seine Werte. Er kämpft für Sauberkeit im Stadtbild und gegen Korruption, aber auch gegen Kommunismus im sowjetischen Sinne. Die Beglückung der Untertanen ist ihm wichtiger als Demokratie, und der Erfolg gibt ihm in gewissem Sinne recht. Eine Art kapitalistischer Fidel Castro, wie dieser (Mein Leben) hat er die Welt und ihre Politiker gesehen und kann entsprechend viel berichten.

Durch die klare chronologische und zugleich in Kapiteln thematische Gliederung ist das Buch gut lesbar und sehr lehrreich. Wer etwas über den wirtschaftlichen Aufstieg Ostasiens während des Kalten Kriegs und danach erfahren möchte, ist hier richtig. Lee Kuan Yew nimmt kein Blatt vor den Mund und hat zu allen politischen Strömungen eine Meinung. Seine außerordentliche historische Bildung, sein Geschäftssinn und seine Sprachkenntnisse führen zu außergewöhnlichen Einsichten. Wirtschaftliche Entwicklung ist ihm wichtiger als Demokratie, ideologisch ist er pragmatisch wie Helmut Schmidt, dem er politisch nahesteht.
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Kommentar 3 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich? Ja Nein Feedback senden...
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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Persönlich denke ich, dass jeder Mensch welcher Interesse an Politik und Wirtschaft hat dieses Buch in die Hände nehmen muss. Die Geschichte des kleinen Singapur und seines Gründervaters Lee Kuan Yew ist einfach unvergleichlich. Anfang der sechziger Jahre hat dieser Mann durch klare Gedanken, einen eisernen Willen und knallharte Gesetze das geschafft wovon heute noch so manche Politiker träumen, nämlich die Errichtung eines modernen Staates, welcher sich auf eine überdurchschnittlich gebildete und produktive Bevölkerung stützt. Noch dazu hat Lee es zu Stande gebracht wahrhaftig Integration zu leben, indem er eine Vielzahl von Ethnien, Kulturen und Religionen in einer Gesellschaft integriert hat. ein wunderbares Buch welches sehr interessant zu lesen ist, da es dem Autor nicht um Floskeln oder Political Correctness geht, sondern nur um Fakten und Realität.
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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Ein Klassiker welcher leider nicht auf Deutsch erschienen ist. Hier kann nachvollzogen werden wie ein Land inmitten anderer deutlich größerer und ehemals wirtschaftlich stärkerer Länder, aufgrund eines beeindruckenden Mannes, historisches geleistet hat. Es wird genau und systematisch beschrieben mit welchen Schwerpunkten und Maßnahmen Singapur den enormen wirtschaftlichen Aufschwung innerhalb weniger Jahrzente schaffte.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.7 von 5 Sternen 95 Rezensionen
79 von 86 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Good, if self-serving 9. Oktober 2000
Von Foobar - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Lee, Singapore's Prime Minister from the 50s to 1991, continues where he left off in his previous book of memoirs. After expulsion from Malaysia in 1965, Lee's government took the island nation from the Third World to its current First World status.
"From Third World to First" is organized by themes. In one chapter, he recounts four decades of progress in (say) building an armed forces. Then, at the beginning of the next, the timer is reset to the 1960s and a new narrative begins about attracting investors to Singapore. This format better allows Lee to explain his motivations in each area, but readers who are unfamiliar with Singapore's history will likely be disconcerted.
The impression one gets is of a government that meticulously addresses each problem area, working with a cool efficiency: a sharp contrast with the tumultous events of the first book.
While Lee is generous with praise, especially for his colleagues, the narrative is often self-serving. It's not exactly boasting - the man's achivements are very real - but it left a sour taste in my mouth. His trademark scathing criticisms, often directed at political enemies, are also less than graceful. His often ruthless treatment of the opposition is glossed over.
Still, the book is a good read, particularly for its gripping subject matter: the journey of a tiny, resource-poor island into affluence, set in the midst of the Cold War. Non-Singaporean readers will be particularly interested with the second half of the book, which is entirely devoted to Lee's personal dealings with assorted international leaders.
A minor annoyance: the editing is sloppy. Grammatical quirks are scattered throughout the text, which is surprising considering Lee's usually excellent grasp of the language.
72 von 79 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Amazing! 18. Februar 2003
Von Ramsundar Lakshminarayanan - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
There are two parts to this book.
First part is about development of Singapore - social, economic and political. The second part deals with foreign relations.
As an Indian, I truly admire Singapore. From what it was in 1965 to what it is today, is an educating experience. Awesome to most third world nations - fighting poverty, population growth and other social maladies.
Lee Kwan Yew had a clear vision, set himself clear goals. Above all, what led to his success is his execution skills.
Rule of law certainly helped. What I adore is the team he surrounded with to create such laws and ensure its implementation regardless of obstacles.
Singapore is a wealthy society today. Secure economically and politically.
In my observation, he had 3 primary principles towards building a nation
a) Rule of Law
b) creating a fair society (not welfare society)
c) Expenses less than income (as simple as that)
All his domestic policies were based on above principles.
I like the way he treated hawkers in Singapore's streetwalks. While ensuring cleanliness of Singapore, he provided alternative solutions so that hawkers continued their business for livelihood in a better environment. Contrast this to Maharashtra government's (Indian state) efforts in cleaning and sprucing up Mumbai's Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus area. Vendors keep coming back.
Singaporeans enjoy high savings rate, because of CPF. A guaranteed security for its citizens when they retire. Contrast this to America's 401k. When Enron collapsed, savings of many employees evaporated even as executives pocketed millions in bonus pays!
Although Singapore is a free market economy, its philosophy concerning workers and employees are caring and genuine, unlike in the United States.
Singapore is an epitome of benign dictator ship, democracy, capitalism and socialism co-existing for the general welfare of the nation.
Lee's book is a revelation for all countries of the world. The three primary principles can act as a catalyst is resolving problems.
25 von 29 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A must read for those interested in development 31. Januar 2004
Von MrSherlockHolmes - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Singapore is one of the few nations in recent history, which has managed to transform itself from a struggling third world nation to a high tech society in less than fifty years. All this was possible - aside from many other factors - because of the genius of one man: Lee Kuan Yew. This book is the story of his quest to change Singapore.
The first part of the book deals with the various projects he initiated or oversaw that changed Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew gives an overview of what he did to deal with those problems facing every developing nation - crime, education, housing, investment etc...
Reading his memoirs, one cannot help but admire this man's moral character and sense of purpose, other leaders of developing nations would do well to learn from this man.
The second part of the book gives Mr Yew's views on nearly every country Singapore has had significant dealings with. His views are, as he himself says on many occasions, not meant to be politically correct. This means that those fluent in `diplomatese' may find his language crude and some of his views upsetting.
Not surprisingly the last part of the book, which deals with his family and his personal life is very brief. Given the formal tone throughout, it would not be in keeping to speak at length about his own personal life, although no doubt that would be interesting reading.
For those students of economics or politics and for those curious about Singapore or the Asia-Pacific region in general, I would highly recommend this book. The writing is extremely clear and the chapters are arranged in a logical order, (unlike the haphazard ranting in other memoirs) which makes reading a pleasure rather than a pain. Read this book to be inspired.
28 von 35 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A must read if you want to know Singapore 2. Oktober 2000
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This book is a must read for people who wants to find out more about Singapore. One would be able to better understand the intimate details of the problems that Singapore faced during the period of nation building from 1965 onwards and the considerations, principles and the people involved in solving them. In his book, difficult issues like going against his friend Dr. Toh and the suicide of a minister were discussed in a very frank manner. The book also showed that Mr. Lee is a sharp observer of people, his account of his meetings with leaders like Suharto, Reagan and many more gives you insight only available if you have up close and personal contact with them. Another plus point for the book is that it is written in simple english and yet was able to bring complex ideas across to the readers. Good read!
12 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting look at an Asian Tiger 28. März 2003
Von R. Setliff - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Overall, an interesting book if you follow politics and international relations. Like Manuel Noriega (whose biography I also read,) KY Lee comes across as a little arrogant and full of hubris. Granted, he has far more political tact, leadership ability and statesmanship than the dethroned Noriega. Lee chronicles his efforts at nation building through establishing a military and police to efforts at laying down infrastructure. He explains his endeavors at brokering trade ties to the West. Much of the book is spent focusing on foreign policy with various corners of the world. He gives particular attention to relations with surrounding nations in Southeast Asia, China, the U.S., Japan, Britain and Europe.
He demonstrates a great deal of ingenuity in leadership and public policy, despite his authoritarian traits. In some respects, he exhibits some socialistic traits (e.g. national housing plan, state airline and telecom, state-owned hospitals) in his approach to politics, yet he has some rather astute and brilliant ideas on political economy (e.g. individual savings accounts, medical savings accounts) that market-oriented conservatives in the West long for. He outlines his ideas and implemented policies with clarity and detail. Perhaps, one of his most brilliant displays of leadership and grasping macroeconomic principles is his implementation of a worker savings scheme or mandatory IRA as opposed to the costly pay-as-you-go Social Security schemes of the West. Just as Chile's system had done, Singapore suceeded in spurring capital investment. The savings scheme allowed workers to build equity instead of relying on intergenerational wealth redistribution schemes like Social Security. The problem with pay-as-you-go state pension schemes is that the capital is not invested, but disbursed immediately to recepients and this only after administrative overhead for the bureaucracy is docked. It only represents a national liability not an asset. He rightly understood that homeowners make better stewards than renters and sought to increase home ownership through various measures such as forced savings.
His authoritarian brand of capitalism and leadership has had a positive role in Singapore's economic development. Singapore's commitment to the rule of law and order has kept it free from corruption and the so called crony capitalism (e.g. the nepotism and corruption of the Marcos' and the Suharto's.) All things considered, Kuan Yew Lee exhibits extraordinary leadership ability in a seeming ordinary world. People can criticize Lee for having made Singapore into little more than a thinly disguised dictatorship with an authoritarian brand of capitalism and a stern rule of law society, but most so called democracies in the world afford their citizens considerably less economic freedom than Singapore. While democracies relish in their so called personal freedom, they seem to think everything is up for a vote whether an individual's property or the fruits of his labor. Moreover, democratizing has become analogous with socializing. Singapore is by no means a free-market utopia, but Singapore's public sector only taps about 15% of the national economy. Perhaps, the West could get some economics lessons from Singapore.
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