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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on August 8, 2003
The greatest fault of this book is that Rogers, despite all of his credentials as a world traveler and one who has visited probably far more countries than I ever will, has the classic problem of universalizing human culture by looking at it from a mere economic level. For Rogers, all people throughout the world are Hayekian Free Marketers, who have no loyalties to anything greater than amassing personal wealth. Religion and political ideology of the world's civilizations, regardless of their respective antiquity, are for him transparent constructs that are merely means, and not ends themselves, of amassing wealth.
Quite simply, Rogers looks at economic growth numbers totally divorced from any sort of socio-political context (I will admit though, that he does make the appropriate tie-ins in his comments on S.Korea and Singapore). For instance, Rogers ignores (which he should have learned from his "man on the street" style of research with the "common man") that China's market reforms are being conducted in order to make it the "Middle Kingdom" once again, and the military/political hegemon of Asia. Once it has secured this status, one can only wonder how the South Asian nations and Japan will fare in the face of this massive country whose history has been anything but purely benevolent. (Ask the Vietnamese)
Secondly, the EU's reluctance to import foreign labor, despite its declining labor force, stems from the fact that they do not wish to be overrun by large numbers of foreigners who, rather than assimilate to Western culture, would simply wish to graft their own over it.
Finally, Rogers's encounters in the Saudi Kingdom (once again, as a real "man on the street") seems to be with the most liberal and "Westernized" percentage of the country. Obviously he failed (or purposely avoided) those educated and somewhat affluent members of the economy, who like the WTC hijackers, reject Western capitalism out of hand.

To his credit, Rogers did give me some helpful and erudite advice on the South American investment situation. However, like Samuel Huntingdon has said, this area of the world has a civilization most resemblimg its Western co-originator and should be easier to understand on almost any socio-economic level.
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on April 25, 2004
With this kind of record of seeing sights/sounds of the world, who's credible enough to argue?
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