Thunder From the East
Portrait of A Rising AsiaBook - 2000
From two Pulitzer Prize-winningNew York Timescorrespondents, a cutting-edge report on Asia and how its people are reshaping the world. Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn bring to their revelatory book all the authority and insight of the fourteen years they spent covering Asia. They depict a continent poised to reassume the role it ceded five hundred years ago as the "center of the world." They muster convincing evidence that China may soon overtake the United States as the world's largest economy, that India is awakening from its long hibernation, that Japan is developing future consumer technologies that will benefit millions of people. Kristof and WuDunn tell their story through vivid descriptions of the unforgettable characters they have encountered: the Cambodian girl sold by her parents to a brothel; the bankrupted Thai entrepreneur who starts life anew with a street-vending business; the Japanese veteran haunted by the mother and child he killed in war. Through lives such as these, the authors underscore the pragmatism and perseverance that drive Koreans, Filipinos, Japanese, and their fellow Asians to greater success, to the point that many workers embrace the same sweatshops that horrify Westerners. Thunder from the Eastshows that the rise of Asia paradoxically has been accelerated by the financial crisis that began to tear through the lives of multitudes in the East in 1997. The authors make clear that, by radically undermining the cronyism and the suffocating regulations that had long fettered Asian economies, the crisis liberated energies and creativity that had until then been immobilized. Kristof and WuDunn avoid a Panglossian focus on Asia's strengths, for they also emphasize such shortcomings as discrimination against women, horrendous pollution, and the rise of nationalism. They warn that the rise of Asia will be a risky and tumultuous process, and that the emergence of powers like China and India will be in many ways destabilizing. New missile technologies and the rise of new nuclear powers in Asia pose a greater threat to American cities as well. Asia is, the authors warn, not only the most vibrant part of the world today, but also the most dangerous. Thunder from the Eastis a brilliant guide to a region that is now in a position to wrest economic, diplomatic, and military power from the West in the coming decades. It offers a riveting account of a continent that is fast becoming the focus of the world's attention.
Publisher: New York : Knopf ; Vintage Books, c2000
Characteristics: x, 377 p. : ill., map ; 25 cm