How to Lose Friends

Kishore Mahbubani is that rarest of creatures, a card-carrying member of the sober, slightly stuffy international establishment who still occasionally manages to hurl provocative smart bombs into the debate on global affairs—an agent provocateur in gentleman's clothing. In the mid '90s, when the U.S. was aflutter with insecurity about how it was losing the global economic race to (believe it or not) Japan, he wrote an essay for Foreign Affairs on "Asian values." At the time it caused a furious discussion among American foreign-policy élites about whether there was any difference in "values" between East and West—and, if there was, whose...

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