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Paperback Confucius Lives Next Door : What Living in the East Teaches Us about Living in the West Book

ISBN: 0679777601

ISBN13: 9780679777601

Confucius Lives Next Door : What Living in the East Teaches Us about Living in the West

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Book Overview

"Fascinating...clearly stated, interesting and provoking.... A plainspoken account of living in Asia." -- San Francisco Chronicle Anyone who has heard his weekly commentary on NPR knows that T. R. Reid is trenchant, funny, and deeply knowledgeable reporter and now he brings this erudition and humor to the five years he spent in Japan--where he served as The Washington Post's Tokyo bureau chief. He provides unique insights into the country and its...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A Delight

The author lived in Asia for several years. In the book he discusses what we in the west might learn from the east. The east has lower crime rates, lower unemployment, safe, clean public places. He traces the roots of the Asian miracle to the emphasis and tradition of the Confucian ethic. That is the basic thesis of the book, but a large part of the pleasure of the book comes from Mr Reid's direct, down home writing style. He has many hilarious anecdotes. Mistranslated English, exotic asian pizzas... He writes about a steel company that made a giant indoor ski area and how that grew from an effort to keep people employed. His neighbor, an elderly gentleman intructs him an Japanese customs... Never dogmatic, always entertaining. The basic message is there are things we can learn from asia, so he lets us see some of the good stuff going on there. Certainly a good message.

A Must-Read for Asian-Americans

I spent half of my life in Taiwan, and half in the US (15-years each). I've always been glad to be exposed to both Eastern and Western cultures. Mr. Reid's book was not only entertaining, it had inspired me search deeply within myself to identify my origin. I feel that I have become a better Chinese-American after reading this book, and it should be a must-read for people like me.With a baby on the way, my wife and I will try our best to educate her and her siblings with the best combination of Confucius teachings and Western values. Thanks, Reido-san. BTW, I am a big fan of Mr. Reid on NPR, and I hope he comes on more often.

Highly entertaining and extremely informative

I cannot remember when I have read a book that taught me so much so entertainingly. T. R. Reid obviously knows the culture he is describing, as well as its history and literature. I chuckled at the sections describing the types of fast food one can buy in Tokyo; I made mental notes of many of the sayings of Confucius for future use; and I couldn't resist exclaiming frequently to my husband, "Did you know that...?" I feel as if I now understand a very big part of our world much better. T. R. Reid is now in London. Will he do for our understanding of the Brits what he did for our knowledge of Asia?

Excellent for someone that knows nothing about Asian culture

Mr. Reid has written an easy read of the powerhouse and most like dominent cultures for the next 500 years, Asia. His description of Japanese schooling is right on target (my wife is from Japan and our children go to Japanese schools run by the Japanese government in San Diego). If you want to know something about the powerhouse for the next 500 years read his book!My only critism of his book is his endorcement of Asian (Japanese in particular) emphasis on ceremony. My word about Japanese ceremony is,yuk! Also, I wish he had provided us with some suggestions as to how Western cultures might incorporate Confucius values into our diverse socitey?Aparently in Asia most Asian news organization believe the entire U.S.is like it was in the wild West of the 1870's with murder, bugulary, rape and mayham an everyday common happening. And for this reason the U.S. is constantly being put down by Asian leaders and Asian media. The Asians point out that since the 1960's crime has sky rocketed in the U.S. What Mr. Reid is suggesting in his book is because there is a crisis in American culture (ie, high crime) perhaps we should take drastic measures to correct the problem by adopting Asian values and completly change our culture by doing so?Anyway, it was a great book and I hope to pass it on to friends that show some interest in those successful Asians.Joe Seckelman

A great first look at Asian politics, society, etc. today

In part of my professional life, I get to teach about Asian politics. I've long been looking for a book that will give my students insights into cultural traditions, social structures, etc. that have helped make both the region's economic successes of the last decades and its troubles of this one.This is the book.As one other reviewer here suggests, Reid does not have all the answers. But, his ability to draw on daily live and build out to broader cultural and social trends is remarkable and reinforces what I've read in more specialized and systematic books.But, if, like my students, you need/want a good first glimpse at what makes Asia different and what we could learn from it, this is the place to start.Besides, I haven't laughed so much in weeks.
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