The Singapore Story - Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew
The Singapore Story is the first volume of the memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew, the man who planted this island state firmly on the map of the world.

In intimate detail, Lee recounts the battles against colonialists, communists and communalists that led to Singapore’s independence.

With consummate political skill, he countered adversaries, sometimes enlisting their help, at others opposing them, in the single-minded pursuit of Singapore’s interests. We read how he led striking unionists against the colonial government, how over tea and golf he fostered ties with key players in Britain and Malaya, of secret midnight meetings in badly lit rooms, drinking warm Anchor beer with a communist underground leader, of his purposeful forging of an alliance with communists to gain the support of the Chinese-educated masses. Readers will find inspiration in his tenacity as he fought for the people’s hearts and minds against first the communists and later the communalists - in parliament, on the streets and through the media.

Drawing on unpublished Cabinet papers, archives in Singapore, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and the United States, as well as personal correspondence, he gives us a vivid picture of how others viewed him: determined (“Lee will bluff, bully and blackmail up to the eleventh hour”), motivated (Choo knew I sweated blood to master Hokkien”), ambitious (“He would think himself as legitimate as I was to be the leader of Malaya”), dangerous (“Crush Lee! Put him aside”). It is a sometimes controversial yet strangely consistent portrait of this Asian statesman.

This book is not all politics: Lee brings the reader into his private life, with unusual candour and the occasional touch of humour. Anecdotes abound of significant moments in his life: his boyhood, his narrow escape from the Japanese massacre, his experience as a black-market trader, his venture into marketing home-made glue that led to a permanent bond with Kwa Geok Choo.

He also shares his insights into the men who shaped the times, including Goh Keng Swee, S. Rajaratnam, Toh Chin Chye, Hon Sui Sen, Lim Kim San, Devan Nair, Lim Chin Siong, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak, Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, Syed Ja’afar Albur, Britain’s Prime Ministers Harold Macmillan and Harold Wilson and other key British leaders, India’s Nehru, Egypt’s Nasser and Australia’s Robert Menzies.

These experiences and his dealings with political leaders were to shape his views and policies, which have had a major impact on Singapore and the region.

In the second volume of his memoirs, Lee Kuan Yew relates how through sound policies Singapore achieved the ninth highest per capital income in the world by the 1990s. Both volumes are essential reading for anyone interested in the origins and success of modern Singapore, and in the political and socioeconomic forces that shape Southeast Asia.

Hardcover with jacket 2006 reprint edition

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The Singapore Story - Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew

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