The essence of this book is due to Charles Adams, my colleague at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy from 2006 to 2008. Charles arrived at the LKY School after a career at the International Monetary Fund, a colleague of his there describing him as "the smartest economist I know". Not only was he that smart, he was generous with his knowledge. Charles and I were tasked by the LKY School to 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 about how that would end, and rightly so, it turned out. I was left to carry on by myself, but Charles's knowledge and insight permeate the book.

Two reviewers have read the manuscript in full and offered transformative commentary. From the economist perspective, Shinji Takagi has offered penetrating critique, pushing me to work to get it right. Like Charles Adams, he is generous with his knowledge and I am grateful to have absorbed as much as I could from him. I got to know Professor Takagi as my favorite reviewer when I served as editor of the Journal of Asian Economics. He was tough, and that was just what I wanted for my own writing. From the non-economist perspective, political scientist and Asia expert Greg Anderson has provided guidance on keeping the presentation accessible and interesting. His ideas on what else to include could make for another book. Four others – Jerry Schiff, Corina Gochoco-Bautista, Laurence Kirsch, Menzie Chinn, and William Rohlf – have contributed valuable input on select chapters. My great gratitude goes to all.

During an 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.

Students at the University of the Philippines School of Economics (2015-2017) and the KDI School of Public Policy and Management in Korea (2019) have test run draft and pre-draft material in a process that has proved immensely helpful in structuring the narrative, tightening the arguments, and ferreting out errors. Finally, my thanks go to Joe Ng of Cambridge University Press for finding me and waving open the door to publication.


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