By the mid-1990s, south-east Asia and its fast-growing economies were the envy of the world. The region's leaders boasted that their societies, based on hard work and family values, were superior to those of the decadent West. Then came the financial crash of 1997. This study examines in detail the miracle that turned sour, including: the debate about the existence of "Asian values"; the relationship between democracy and authoritarianism; SE Asia's "Generation X" - as wild and happy-go-lucky as any Western teenagers; the region's political and business leaders; the environmental disaster befalling the region; and power politics - between Russia, China and the United States - in the region.
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Victor Mallet is South Africa correspondent for the Financial Times. Prior to that he was deputy Features Editor and South-East Asia correspondent for that newspaper. In 1990, as Middle East correspondent for Reuters, he was the only western journalist in Kuwait City when the Iraqis invaded.Review:
'If there is a better primer on South-East Asia, it must be a very good book indeed' Sunday Business 'Mallet's book is engagingly written and rich in anecdote... his painstaking research brings Asian society to life' Financial Times
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