Lee Kuan Yew: The Beliefs Behind the Man

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Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's first prime minister (from 1959 to 1990), has been an international figure not only for establishing Singapore's political and economic stability but also for fostering economic development throughout Asia. He is particularly renowned as a principle architect of the 'Asian values' campaign of the 1990s, which sought to preserve the undemocratic traits of Asian culture while attending to the demands of a capitalist economy operating globally. A critical examination of Lee's life, career, and ideas, this is the first book to analyze the origins and substance of Lee's political thought. Augmenting established primary sources with his own interviews and correspondence with Lee's old associates, Barr shows how Lee has been influenced by British and Chinese racism and elitism, western progressivism, and even the cultural evolutionism of Arnold Toynbee. This reassessment of Lee's achievements and worldview sheds new light on a key figure on the world stage.