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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
This is the first of two volumes of memoirs by Lee Kuan Yew, prime minister of Singapore for 30 years, and its most influential leader. It is not without reason that he titles his memoir The Singapore Story. His prose is disciplined and workmanlike, and he prefers stating facts over reminiscence. He passes over his very British early education, his childhood in Singapore, and even over the incredible brutality of the Japanese occupation with crisp mechanical description. He goes to work on the black market with astonishing discipline, almost casually describing how he escaped several massacres. After finishing his law degree with top marks, he describes his early forays into politics, and the founding of the People's Action Party, which has had a majority since 1959. He describes his political machinations with astonishing detail and candor, and is an adept judge of character. His description of urban politics, with mass mobilization campaigns, coalition building, and multi-lingual speeches and coalitions, is fascinating. His first aim, after British decolonization, was to unite Singapore with Malaysia. He speaks very favorably of "The Tunku" Abdul Rahman, but less so of the more local politicians. After tense and uneasy relationship, the union broke down after only two years, and Singapore was to be expelled from Malaysia, with the British soon leaving, and the once-supportive Communists planning an all-out uprising. The second volume, which I'm going to reread soon, covers the period of Singapore's independence and its economic transformation - arguably the inspiration for significant portions of Deng Xiaoping's system of reforms in China over the last quarter of the 20th century - and we know how those went, and how Singapore is now. An interesting view into East Asian politics.
Review: The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan YewUser Review - Goodreads
Eye opener. Clear, concise, and powerful.
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