The East is read-part 2

Keep a cool head and maintain a low profile. Never take the lead – but aim to do something big.
       -Deng Xiaoping
The frustrating thing about India, is that whatever you can rightly say about India, the opposite is always true.
       -Amartya Sen, Indian economist and Nobel laureate

Hi folks, I'm back. Ya miss me ? Quick, don't answer that. I've got a
huge stack of books to return to the library before the Library Police
kick down my door and drag me off to some super secret CIA-sponsored
prison deep in the developing world. So, in the immortal words of the
Joker, "and here we…go."
   First up is Robyn Meredith's 2007 The Elephant and the Dragon:The Rise of India and China and What It Means for All of Us.
Like many of the books I post here from time to time, this was a book I
originally saw displayed in the window of the campus bookstore across
the street from my workplace. It looked promising so not long ago I
grabbed a copy at my local library. Meredith, the China and India
reporter for Forbes magazine, presents a very readable,
straight-forward and interesting history of the economic rise of the
world's two most populous nations-India and China. Fortunately the
author devotes equal attention to both countries, tracing their
economic development from the colonial era to the current era of
"globalization". Just for the heck of it, let me post a few factoids I
gleaned from her book.

  • Currently, there are 320,000 millionaires in China.
  • While China has experienced major growth in heavy construction and related fields, only 6 percent of Chinese construction

    workers are paid on time.

  • The
    Chinese city of Chongqing is currently the world's largest city with 30
    million residents, roughly the same population as the entire state of
    California.
  • Dharavai, a slum in Mumbai has 600,000 residents, roughly the same population as Seattle or Kansas City.
  • While
    India boasts of having some of the best universities in Asia, 35
    percent of all Indians are illiterate. Only 15 percent ever reach high
    school and only 7 percent eventually graduate. 
  • An Indian call center recently received 6000 employment applications for 110 openings.

I
enjoyed her book. Her concluding chapter on the future of these two up
and coming economic powers, as well as that of the world itself,
including the United States was quite good and incredibly sobering. In
all likelihood, in the future we will see the economies of China, India
and the US drawn closer to each other. A most telling example of this
would be the ever so popular iPod. While it was created and marketing
by the US-based Apple, it is manufactured in China and contains a
microchip invented by a small Indian company in Hyderabad. Meredith
goes on to write that while many Americans loath globalization and the
jobs it lures away to offshore locations, for every dollar spent on
global trade, $1.94 is created and all but 33 cents of that eventually
returns to the US, (but to whom, she never says-to average Americans or
just stockholders ?).
   This is a great book. I highly recommend it to any reads who might want to know more about international trade.

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2 Comments

Filed under Area Studies/International Relations

2 responses to “The East is read-part 2

  1. Thank you so much for the information on that book. I have wanted something like that and I just ordered it off of Amazon for $6.09 believe it or not. Great book and Great Deal!

  2. You are most welcome. Thanks for the kind words. There are a few other books I will recommend to you. I will try to send you another email with information on several other books you should for sure look into. Thanks for visiting my blog. To be honest, I did not think anyone read it other than myself.

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