The basic structure of the book is due to Charles Adams, my colleague at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy from 2006 to 2008. Charles came to the LKY School after retiring from the International Monetary Fund, a colleague of his there describing him to me as "the smartest economist I know". And not only was he that smart, he was very generous with his knowledge. Charles and I were tasked by the LKY School to jointly develop an executive program in macroeconomics and take turns teaching it in Vietnam. Charles masterminded the program and I put together the charts and tables and prepared the slides. I thought the result was worthy of turning into a textbook, and Charles was game. He fed me ideas, and I did the writing, then got his feedback and revised. We talked for long stretches on the grounds of the LKY School where Charles would chain smoke. I was worried how that would end, and rightly so, it turned out. I was left to carry on by myself, but Charles's wisdom and insight permeate the book.

During my interlude in Los Angeles, I was granted institutional haven at the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (2008-2010) and the U.S.-China Institute at the University of Southern California (2010-2014). I'm grateful for the collegiality offered by these institutions and the access to outstanding library collections augmented by that of the fabulous Los Angeles Public Library.

Greg Anderson was the first reader of many draft chapters, and his detailed suggestions pushed me to strive for greater clarity. Corina Gochoco-Bautista has also provided valuable comments on a number of chapters.

Students at the University of the Philippines School of Economics have test run draft and pre-draft material in a process that has proved immensely helpful in structuring the narrative, refining the arguments, and ferreting out errors.


Header photo by author: daybreak over the Sierra Madre, Quezon City, Philippines.