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Lion City

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781408713600

Price: £18.99

ON SALE: 2nd September 2021

Genre: Humanities / History

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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.

Reviews

Vasagar gives Singapore a fair-and detailed-shake
Asian Review of Books
Unexpectedly moving...a good introduction for the general reader suddenly turns to questions of love, grief, deceit and identity
Sholto Byrnes, The TLS
A comprehensive look at the sleek city-state that strongman Lee Kuan Yew forged into a model society of authority and order.
Kirkus Reviews
[An] enlightening look at how Singapore has become what it is today.
Washington Independent Review of Books