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Paperback The Elephant and the Dragon : The Rise of India and China, and What It Means for All of Us Book

ISBN: 0393331938

ISBN13: 9780393331936

The Elephant and the Dragon : The Rise of India and China, and What It Means for All of Us

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Book Overview

The Elephant and the Dragon is the essential guide to understanding how India and China are reshaping our world. With labor now unbound from geographic borders, we're seeing startling shifts in how--and where--nearly everything we buy is made. In a compelling mix of history and on-the-ground reporting, veteran journalist Robyn Meredith untangles the complex web of business and politics, as well as environmental and cultural issues that entwine India,...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Highly Recommended

"The Elephant & The dragon" has tons of current info and is a quick-read. Author Robyn Meredith uses lots of statistics to provide more detailed familiarity to China and India. China and India are not only interesting but our interaction with them affects our lives everyday. We are living it. Look at the label of any product in your home. Look how much you pay for it. Worth noting to readers however, is that those who follow the current economic and trade events of China and India will not gain as much in this book as a neophyte or casual dabbler in this topic. But there are ample details, demographics, projected trends, and numbers in this book. The "E & D" is one of the better books out on the market covering these two nations and their ramifications to the US and the world at the moment, whether you're only interested in one of them, or if you want to attain more knowledge about both. Robin Meredith knows china and India very well, living in Hong Kong and writing for Forbes. This review is mostly about my interest in China, because China is and will be much more influential *on* the US and the world than India will be for several reasons. India (among many other nations) is where outsourcing happens, and India also supplies highly qualified employee talent to the US under the H1-B visa. Keeping India behind however, is the lack of infrastructure and corruption issues, which make China a larger magnet for FDI, outsourcing, and exporting to the west, etc. In addition the Chinese are buying....ahem....lending, to the US via the purchase of Treasury Bills, while simultaneously holding a massive trade surplus with the United States. India definitely has strengths. But as a whole India will play a smaller role than China in the world. (I'm not saying that a bigger role is good, for any nation of the world.) But this is the reason for my interest being in China more so than India. "The Elephant & The Dragon, like almost every book on the ascent of China, aptly notes the Mao era. Mao's 1955 agricultural Collectivization, it's destruction, lack of logic, and lack of common sense did massive damage to China and its people. Tens of millions died, unnecessarily. Then the cultural revolution and its bizarre brutality. All of this from a government that is afraid of....Google. Twilight Zone. Currently the Chinese government celebrates the town of Xiaogang as the birthplace of China's rural reforms, where the "Xiaogang Peasant's Pact" began. This was basically the privatization of agriculture. Among the plethora of info, one of many points to note are similar to what many in East Asia and China are observing. *Many Chinese students don't want to work and live in the US, as they know that $15,000 USD can go farther in China than $45,000 per year in the USA. They'd rather stay in China, or return to China after getting an education in the US/West. Asia is rising; China is rising. The US and the West is declining. In

A much needed update on these emerging economies

Anyone who has been following the exciting growth stories of China and India will find this book an excellent update on these rising global superpowers. A perfect complement to other books such as "The World is Flat" and "China Inc," "The Elephant and the Dragon" takes a fresh look at the current trends shaping the outcome of globalization. Unlike other books focusing purely on business trends, Robyn Meredith does an excellent job explaining the cultural and psychological factors allowing these countries to excel at certain trades, but yet fall short of becoming a USA clone. She explains how the impact of British colonization instilled a resistance of capitalism in India, and how China has transformed itself through a series of gradual economic policy reforms. With so many other books on the topic of these two countries, this one stands out by discussing the issues that will hinder their long term development if not fixed shortly. It explained the "why's" behind India's corruption and infrastructure problem. It pointed out the potential explosive political standoff brewing between American values and China's Communistic tendencies. Some other issues include social/culture mindsets, insufficient infrastructure, pollution, overregulation by governments, and political conflicts. All of these issues will play key roles affecting the fragile interdependence of the United States, India, and China over the upcoming years. The thing I liked most about this book is that on a topic already well publicized, "The Elephant and the Dragon" was able to deliver a new angle. It particularly had good coverage on India, which tends to get less media attention than China.

Essential to understanding the chaning world economy

I just finished reading The Elephant and the Dragon by Robyn Meredith. I could not recommend it more highly. In this book, Meredith compares and contrasts the growing economies of China and India, beginning with their isolationist driven withdrawal politically and economically that drove both nations deeply into poverty. She then looks at how both nations are following different paths to reclaiming their place on the international stage and the significant challenges (economic, political, and ecological) each nation faces in this effort. The book concludes by considering what response the US should have to the changing global economy: a call to resist isolationism and instead embrace a new focus on improving education, reducing personal and federal debt, and accepting the challenge to gain advantage through innovation. The book is incredibly well written and is a fascinating read both from an economic and historical perspective.

Great Job of Communicating the Problem

"The Elephant and the Dragon" provides excellent information that allows readers to understand the impact of India and China's recent economic transformations. The bad news, however, is that its recommendations are the same old silly nostrums that have little, if any value. However, given the importance of simply helping Americans become more informed on the topic, the fact that the book exploded at least two popular myths, and the difficulty of correcting the problems India and China pose for the U.S., I still rate the book with 5 stars. China's economic reforms began in 1978 when 18 rural families met in secret and decided to break up their collective farm (contradicting the communist system) and almost quadrupled their output. (Production had originally fallen 40% when the farms were collectivized.) The government then released most food price controls, and 80% of farmers then repaired and/or improved their homes. Deng (Mao's successor) then toured Singapore, was greatly impressed, and sent hundreds of others. "Special economic zones" suspended anti-business laws, taxes were lowered, and rules streamlined for factories making goods for export. In addition, local officials' promotions were pegged to the number of jobs created - thus, they were quick to build required roads and utilities. In addition, government officials insisted foreign companies use, and teach local workers their latest techniques. A key dimension of our trade deficit with Asia (especially China) is the ESCALATING rate at which it is increasing. For example, in 2000, 30% of the world's toys came from China; only 5 years later it was 75%. It exported $1.3 billion in auto parts in 2001, and nearly $9 billion 4 years later. In 1996, $20 billion of computers and other technical products were exported from China, vs. $180 billion in 2004 - leading all other nations. China now exports more/day (over one 40 ft. container/second) than it sold abroad during all of 1978 - the year it began opening up its economy. There's more. A McKinsey '05 survey of U.S. companies in China found they bought just 30% of what they could buy in China, and planned to increase that to 50% by '08. Finally, in '05, only 14% of Chinese companies designed their export products in China; by '08 half expect to do so. (Only about 10-20% of a product's U.S. retail value stays in China - the bulk goes to the designer - eg. Intels and Microsofts, and brand-name retailers; when these areas become subject to Chinese competition the sales of U.S. McMansions, BMWs, etc. will plummet.) Perhaps U.S. efforts will convince China to revalue its currency by about 40%, making U.S. products more attractive. Not likely - the author reports that Chinese leaders estimate an 8% annual GDP growth rate is required to absorb the frustrations of its increasingly discontented interior population (earn only one-fourth that of their coastal brethren) - as well as the slightly more than 50% still employed in state- or

The elephant and the dragon

This is an excellent book on a subject which is likely to continue to have huge impact on the global economy for decades to come. It is not a straight forward subject, but Robyn Meredith's book is readable and informative as well as intelligent and thought-provoking. I highly recommend it, and look forward to future books by Ms. Meredith.
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