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How Asia Works: Success and Failure in the World's Most Dynamic Region

Why did some Asian countries industrialize quickly and successfully—rapidly becoming developed and rich countries—while others have continued to flounder? Studwell combines history and geopolitical analysis to present a clear argument that explains current events in Asia. The thesis centers around how land reform—specifically communist-inspired redistribution of land to many people—empowered capitalist economic industrialization.

Overall, it's an enjoyable read and coherent, and effectively explains development strategies and policies that have worked and haven't worked across Asia. If geopolitics is interesting to you, you'll probably enjoy this book.


These are entirely subjective, and roughly try to capture my personal enjoyment and usefulness, and how likely I'd recommend it to others. Don't read too much into this unless you love my judgement. Rough guidelines:

A: Top quartile. Changed the way I think about something.

B: Worthwhile. I took away something useful.

C: Didn't hit, wouldn't directly recommend. Likely won't revisit.

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