China and India Don't Need Us

Last Updated Apr 2, 2008 11:00 PM EDT

In "Billions of Entrepreneurs," author Tarun Khanna gives us a tour of modern-day India and China, filled with historical asides and vivid pictures of life in these countries. Khanna at his best evokes John Gunther's landmark "Inside" series from the 1940s, giving us an intimacy with the places and their people that is powerful. Even at his worst, he avoids the tediousness of academic writing, though some of his structure feels a bit forced.

His first chapter is the best. He writes with flair and insight on these two nations and their roles in the world economy. He cannot sustain that style for the entire book, so it falls short of must-read status for a general reader. That said, it is essential reading for anyone interesting in China, India and the global economy. And general readers will find much of interest in it, and even if cherry-picking chapters will learn a great deal about these two nations.

His chapters "Bias and Noise," "Fiat and Fairness," "Infosys and TCL," "Barefoot Doctors and Medical Tourists" and "Film Stars and Gurus" I found most broadly interesting.

Big Think Breakdown: A book written for contemporary businesspeople. Readers will come away understanding how modern-day India and China were formed, as well as their opportunities and obstacles.

I reviewed this book in four parts:

China, India and the Future
When Doing Business in China and India, Nothing is Guaranteed
China and India: Night and Day
Billions of Entrepreneurs Who Don't Need Us

  • Michael Fitzgerald

    Michael Fitzgerald writes about innovation and other big ideas in business for publications like the New York Times, The Economist, Fast Company, Inc. and CIO. He’s worked as a writer or editor at Red Herring, ZDNet, TechTV and Computerworld, and has received numerous awards as a writer and editor. Most recently, his piece on the hacker collective the l0pht won the 2008 award for best trade piece from the American Society of Journalists and Authors. He was also a 2007 Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellow in Science and Religion.