Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn:
"Thunder from the East" (2000)

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
This book, that won a Pulitzer prize, is a mediocre, unfocused account of the Far East after the very minor crisis that hit it at the end of the 1990s. The authors are journalists, not historians and not economists, a fact that makes all the difference: they seem to have a very superficial notion of the history of the countries that they discuss (other than Japan's recent history), and mostly missed the point about the economic, social and political future of those countries. The focus on Japan (hardly representative of the rest of Asia) is typical. The discussion of other rising economies (particularly China) is marginal and often Even the description of ordinary lives (the authors lived in Asia) would probably cause many citizens of those countries to get a bit upset (not only is it superficial, but it is typically selective in the aspects of life that the journalists choose to describe, sensationalism prevailing over completism). The data that the authors quote are taken randomly from (presumably) the few informed texts that they read. There is a huge literature about those countries and millions of conflicting data. Things are not as easy as this book makes them appear.