From Publishers Weekly
Over the past 20 years, some of the most striking economic growth in history has been taking place in Asia, and former Economist
editor-in-chief Emmott (The Sun Also Sets
) combines solid economic and political analysis with entertaining personal accounts to discuss three countries in the center of the phenomenon. Emmott paints richly detailed portraits of China, India and Japan, examining the global implications of their growing rivalry while remaining attentive to issues that extend beyond the region, such as the environment and nuclear weapons proliferation. Several of his conclusions are familiar: China's rapid economic growth is coming into conflict with its political authoritarianism; there is vast potential for India's growth if public policy can properly encourage it; Japan's aging and shrinking population could lead the country into further economic decline. The true strength of the book lies in Emmott's ability to guide the reader through the intricate—often fraught—relationships between these countries without losing focus. Particularly welcome is his ability to discuss potential trouble spots in the region without degenerating into alarmism. This serious and stimulating book will be indispensable to anyone interested in where these countries are headed—and where they might take us. (May)
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Seasoned in international affairs, former Economist editor Emmott discusses foreign relations among China, India, and Japan, as seen through the lens of economics. Author of previous current-events soothsaying (20:21 Vision, 2003), Emmott takes a big-picture approach that, framing the trio’s burgeoning economic growth, will acquaint readers with the major frictions among the three countries. Examining each country in turn, Emmott reviews reforms that have spurred the torrid economic pace or, in Japan’s case, overcome depression in the 1990s. The strains created by phenomenal growth, both internationally in competition for raw materials and domestically in politics, bear on the author’s main concern: the possibility of war between these nations. While not alarmist, Emmott assesses historical antagonisms, such as territorial disputes between India and China (who battled in 1962) and China’s resentment of a Japan deemed insufficiently apologetic for World War II, as latent flashpoints. Factoring in the influence of the U.S. and ultimately proposing nine policies to help ensure peace, Emmott displays an informative grip and strategic fluency benefiting those tracking trends in Asian economics and politics. --Gilbert Taylor