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The Elephant and the Dragon: The Rise of India and China and What It Means for All of Us

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,268 ratings  ·  167 reviews
In the streets of India, camels pull carts loaded with construction materials, and monkeys race across roads, dodging cars. In China, men in Mao jackets pedal bicycles along newly built highways, past skyscrapers sprouting like bamboo. Yet exotic India is as near as the voice answering an 800 number for one dollar an hour. Communist China is as close as the nearest Wal-Mar ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published July 17th 2007 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 2007)
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Apr 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, non-fiction
A very readable, but meticulously researched look at the growth of India and China and the particular challenges each faces as they become more integrated with the global economy. Meredith highlights how much China and India are changing the global economic and political landscape and argues that if America does not keep up by investing in mathematics, science and research, improving its educational system and providing better safety nets for those who will inevitably lose their jobs to China an ...more
Feb 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book is a fascinating look into the social, political, and economic histories of The World's Producer (China, the dragon) and The World's Back Office (India, the elephant), and their relation to The World's Consumer (the U.S.). The author is the Forbes magazine correspondent for India and China, and seems to have a remarkable grasp on those two very different countries' histories, cultures, and interactions with the world. The author also looks to the future and predicts what will happen wh ...more
Bartley Sharkey
Before starting I hadn't realised that this book was written all the way back in 2007, which obviously means that quite a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then, however it did really help to uncover some of the historical and political reasons that both China and India were far behind much of the rest of the world until the past couple of decades. Both countries, for quite different reasons, had basically turned their backs on the the wider world until it suddenly became clear that ...more
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
78 China open, 91 India, Mao famine 30-40M, China began in rural farms as collectivism failed going to free market, 40% decrease with collectivism, intellectuals burn books universities closed with collectivism or socialism, ussr was revolution vs evolution, revolution due to corruption, 760M rural 570M urban, 91 reforms to drop state own and tax from 56 to 40, government control all levels corruption and life long employment, since 96 politics and regulations unstable with corruption, dereg air ...more
Nov 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a good book to read after "The WalMart Effect" to get a perspective on world economy and changing economic stability. China's transformation came through taking advantage of the hoards of cheap labor to manufacture or assemble products; while India has managed to create a remarkable industry of computer software developers and call centers. How these transformations came about, what effect they have had and are having on both the US and the local economies in those countries, and what th ...more
James Gadea
Oct 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent introduction to the role of India and China in the globalized world, this book provided many insights into how America might be able to respond to the growth of two rising stars. I liked the personal visits to factories and slums in India and China, because they illustrated the story best, but the book itself was at times slow with too many percentages and statistics given; however, overall I enjoyed the book, and found it very informative and definitely a conversation-starter.
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a marvellous read!!! Insightful, to the point with facts and figures. Must read for readers interested in growing countries and their economies of scales.

Sep 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
"An exciting and journalistic account of one of the great economic stories of our time" - Joseph E. stiglitz, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics.

This is a must read for all Americans. The change of India from a socialialist country to a more capitalistic country that is becoming the back office for American companies and the change of China from a communist country under Mao to a capitalistic country that has become the manufacturing plant for American companies is impacting all Americans.

Jun 23, 2014 rated it liked it
In the streets of India, camels pull carts loaded with construction materials, and monkeys race across roads, dodging cars. In China, men in Mao jackets pedal bicycles along newly built highways, past skyscrapers sprouting like bamboo. Yet exotic India is as near as the voice answering an 800 number for one dollar an hour. Communist China is as close as the nearest Wal-Mart, its shelves full of goods made in Chinese factories.
Not since the United States rose to prominence a century ago have we s
Dev Scott Flores
Jan 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
"The middle-aged, highly skilled white-collar workers are realizing, 'My job is gone and I'm not going to get it back.'" ~ Stephen Roach, Chief Economist for Morgan Stanley

Very short on actual history - less than one paragraph was devoted to an off-handed recollection that both India and China have been dominant global economies for most of the last 500 years - but chock-full of factoids to pop off with at dinner parties, "Elephant and Dragon" is a very concise analysis of recent history with re
Clif Hostetler
This book covers some of the same material that is contained in the book, The World Is Flat. However, this book zeros in on India (the elephant) and China (the dragon) in more detail. It also spends more time reviewing the future difficulties that will need to be faced. But overall the book has an optimistic tone. Toward the end of the book it makes the case that international trade is a bargain for the USA. The book explains that for every dollar that goes overseas, $1.94 of wealth is created, ...more
Aug 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Excellent primer on Chindia, about the background of its history that paved the way for its staggering economic growth, and the entrenched social, political, and cultural structures that hinders its continuing development as well as presents opportunities for considerations in future economic planning. Even though India and China exist on semi-separate spheres in the book, they are case studies of how development on a national scale can be achieved in completely different ways, tailored to the c ...more
Toni Daugherty
I learned so much about the global economy reading this book. It's important to understand the political, religious and economic backgrounds of the players involved in the global market, in order to understand and predict what may happen with future world trade and future jobs. Meredith does a good job giving us both the background and some predictions that may prove true. She helps one think on a global scale when trying to understand purchase power, economies, gross national product, job growt ...more
Informative read on the re-emergence of two of the world's historic powers: India and China. Meredith provides a brief history on each and insight into the unique leaders, national characteristics, and philosophies that guided these two countries to the positions they are in today: China the factory to the world and India the back office to the world and especially the US. However, these roles are malleable and changing to suit the needs and influence of both countries in the next century, with ...more
Aug 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: economic
The first 6 chapters are more about the development history of China and India. It was a good refreshing for those who did not know about history. The last 3 chapters are more about comparing the two countries plus America. Robyn touches most parts about America and pointing out the parts why it might be fall behind China or India in one day. Learn so much about China, India, and America economic.
Jason Sands
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good overview

This is a good overview of the economic changes going on in China and India. It lays out the challenges these countries present the United States and it offers possible solutions to these challenges without stooping to the demagoguery of the current election campaign.
Murali Neelakantan
May 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
An easy to read book that is more like an article in the New York Times than a serious book. Excellent as a first book for someone who needs to know enough to not be left out of the conversation at the next harvard club lunch.
Mr Shahabi
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nccal
This book answers the questions on regarding How the hell did everything turned to MADE IN CHINA overnight.

A very elaborate book, highly recommended.
Swagatika Panda
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I unknowingly picked this book heavy on economy by assuming that I am picking a book on history or geopolitics. My reading experience- The author covers in depth about social, geopolitical, economical, and historical aspects of the subject of rise of India and China from a western perspective. She sprinkles humor throughout the book, and spices up with punchlines at right places. I really loved this about her writing style. Since it is about economics, it felt a little heavy and I would need to ...more
Nathaniel Teeter
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended to me by my manager and I was surprised at how good of a read it turned out to be. It presented a shockingly fair look at the good and bad that has come about with the economic rise of China and India. As I started reading it I had a bunch of questions regarding things I knew about the subject and all of them were actually addressed, which was nice because I got to bulk up my personal knowledge. One thing in particular I appreciate is the scaling of pay between wages fo ...more
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Meredith appraises India and China's arrival and increasing role in the global economy, circa 2007. After an introductory chapter that explains why and how both powers began to move towards freer economies, Meredith then covers how the two nations' involvement in the global economy is shaping it and them. At risk of being simplistic, she refers to India as the world's 'office' and China as its factory, and uses them to illustrate the rise of off-shoring and the global supply chain. In our global ...more
Madras Mama
Jun 06, 2022 rated it liked it
Nicely written book comparing the two Asian giants and addressing the relevant complicated issues without fear or favor, albeit, at times it felt that the author was less critical of India. Whether the world (including the USA and the so called Western Powers) like it or not, the two countries are going to contribute more towards the world's future. The author adroitly summarized the role of the stakeholders and the challenges and some reasonable suggestions. Not an unputdownable book but a book ...more
Brandon Aguirre
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I finished this book right before moving to China for the second time. A few days through my stay I have visited the Shanghai Communist Propaganda Poster Art Centre and could see a lot of what this book taught me about the years of the Cultural Revolution in the posters there.

Great piece to understand where China came from before being the dragon it is now and it avoided being an elephant like India was considered in not so distant years.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A history, an economic primer and an editorial on what it all means. This book thoroughly covers the emergence of the Chinese and Indian economies onto the world stage. Both are embracing capitalism and with gusto and success. What this means to the world and to Americans is the central theme of this interesting book.
Mithlesh Kumar
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Its a decent book. Its more like a documentary actually. The only problem is that the world has changed so much since July 2007 when this book was released that most of the content are not easy to put in context while looking at today. Although the historical facts provided are very useful in understanding the spark of growth. All an all its not book that you would want to read today.
Mary Lauer
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very interesting book about globalization and India and China making huge leaps forward. She is almost prescient about what the US needs to do to stay equal or ahead, and sadly, the current administration is doing the exact OPPOSITE of what she recommends ...
Apr 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
Dated. Would be better if written in 2020, it may have been insightful in 2009. I came into the book fairly well informed about most of what's talked about. If your the kind of person who reads something like the economist cover to cover every week it's not gonna be very helpful... ...more
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Realistic insight into the history of economic built up of India and China.
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well written, gives a well rounded perspective of how China and India can become the leading economies and geopolitical influencers in the next 20 years.
Shreemohan Singhee
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Living in India or China, one can visualise the socio-economic changes described in the book over the past few decades.
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Author, The Elephant and the Dragon and Bloomberg Television Foreign Correspondent

Based in Hong Kong, Robyn Meredith is a correspondent for Bloomberg Television, where she interviews Asian heads of state and global CEOs. She is the author of The New York Times best seller, The Elephant and the Dragon: The Rise of India and China and What It Means for All of Us, published by W.W. Norton.

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