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  • Little, Brown
  • Little, Brown

Lion City: Singapore and the Invention of Modern Asia

Jeevan Vasagar

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Singapore, History

Jeevan Vasagar is a superb and evocative writer, and Lion City is a compelling, illuminating and personal history that will be regarded as the definitive book on Singapore - and one of the great city chronicles.

Lion City tells the extraordinary story of Singapore - the world's most successful city state.

In 1965, Singapore's GDP per capita was on a par with Jordan. Now it has outstripped Japan. After the Second World War and a sudden rupture with newly formed Malaysia, Singapore found itself independent - and facing a crisis. It took the bloody-minded determination and vision of Lee Kuan Yew, its founding premier, to take a small island of diverse ethnic groups with a fragile economy and hostile neighbours and meld it into Asia's first globalised city.

Lion City examines the different faces of Singaporean life - from education and health to art, politics and demographic challenges - and reveals how in just half a century, Lee forged a country with a buoyant economy and distinctive identity. It explores the darker side of how this was achieved too; through authoritarian control that led to it being dubbed 'Disneyland with the death penalty'.

Jeevan Vasagar, former Singapore correspondent for the Financial Times, masterfully takes us through the intricate history, present and future of this unique diamond-shaped island one degree north of the equator, where new and old have remained connected. Lion City is a personal, insightful and essential guide to the city, and how its remarkable rise is shaping East Asia and the rest of the world.

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Jeevan Vasagar

Jeevan Vasagar is a writer and award-winning journalist. From 2015 to 2017, he was Singapore and Malaysia correspondent for the Financial Times, travelling the region to report on demands for political reform, technological innovation and the growing influence of China.

Before that he was the FT's Berlin correspondent, and he spent twelve years at the Guardian, in a range of roles including East Africa correspondent in Nairobi, and education editor in London. His writing has also appeared in The Economist, the LA Times and the New Statesman.

He can be found on Twitter: @jeevanvasagar

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