You’d have to be living under a rock to have not noticed how the Chinese people have pretty much taken over all the top spots in most all pursuits – athletic, artistic, educational, financial, and most other areas of life.
This book, by Michael Justin Lee, a Chartered Financial Analyst and formerly the nation’s first Financial Markets Expert-in-Residence in the US Department of Labor, seeks to explain the reasons behind the success of the Chinese in so many areas of life. Mr. Lee delivers concrete examples of how this likely has come to be.
Admittedly, the success that the Chinese people are experiencing is not limited solely to the Chinese, and the author points this out – it appears that much of the basis behind this success comes from Confucian teaching, which influences many other Asian countries. It’s not surprising that Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other Eastern countries are experiencing similar success, and all are strongly influenced by Confucian teachings, as well as Buddhist philosophies.
Many of these teachings, ingrained in the family, are similar to notions that you might feel are common knowledge in the categories of “doing what’s right” that you’ve heard your entire life. For example: getting an education, thinking beyond your own generation, keep your debt to a minimum, and deferring gratification. Confucian principles take these ideas to another level altogether, and this is among the reasons that Asians have had such success in so many areas, according to Lee.
Mr. Lee does an excellent job of explaining these ideas, giving examples of how the various facets of life for the Chinese have prepared them to become as dominant as they have. I quite enjoyed the way he presents his information – and I believe there are lessons to be learned from this book for everyone.
History has shown that this sort of superiority changes in cycles. Not that long ago, China was among the lower classes in terms of many of these categories, and countries such as the US, Germany, and Great Britain claimed top spots. I suspect that such cycles may continue to occur, as success often leads to excesses, which often leads to downfall. I guess we’ll see what happens!
The above book review is part of a series of reviews that I am doing in an arrangement with McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing, where MH sends me books with the only requirement being that I read the book and write a review – like it or not. If you find the information in this review useful, let me (and McGraw-Hill) know!