Lee Kuan Yew: The Beliefs Behind the Man

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Georgetown University Press, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 273 pages
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Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's first Prime Minister, is a figure whose international stature far exceeds that of the tiny island over which he presided for thirty years. Lee is the principal architect of Singapore's political stability and its economic development throughout Asia. Yet the continuing interest in the man several years after his retirement from the prime ministership derives mainly from his contributions on the greater world stage. Lee was a leading figure in the recent revival of Confucianism throughout the Chinese world and was a main initiator of the 'Asian Values' campaign of the 1990s. In this role he has been at the forefront of both practical and theoretical efforts to reconcile undemocratic, illiberal elitism with the requirements of a prosperous capitalist economy operating within the global economic system. Lee presents an ostensibly 'Asian' argument, but his essential message is global. This first book ever to analyze the origin and substance of Lee's ideas is timely and relevant, as well as provocative, and will appeal to a broad spectrum of readers, not just of Singaporean history but all the way from political science to semiotics. It is a compelling and lucid study, which is vindicated by the fact that the dissertation on which it is based won the Asian Studies Association of Australia President's Award.

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About the author (2000)

Michael D. Barr teaches at Queensland University of Technology.

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