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Distributed for National University of Singapore Press

the lives & times of hrh

Herman Hochstadt, or hrh, as he is better known, joined Singapore’s civil service in 1960, rising quickly to the position of principal secretary for Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, and later serving as Permanent Secretary in key ministries like Finance and Defense. hrh had an unusual ability to inspire those working for him, and his signature wit and charm are on display in this winning memoir, which deftly weaves together stories of his career and some of the key moments of Singapore’s development. He begins with his Eurasian family’s history in Singapore, including that of his grandfather, John Hochstadt, who founded the Singapore Casket Company. He continues through his childhood, detailing an education that was interrupted by the Japanese occupation, before moving on to his working life, which included influential positions throughout the public and private sectors. Full of warmth and humor, the lives and times of hrh traces a life dedicated to public service in Singapore, from its time as a crown colony through its evolution to the Republic of Singapore.

192 pages | 6 x 9

Asian Studies: Southeast Asia and Australia

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“His amusing and frank accounts of how he worked with Lee Kuan Yew during his long career in the Singapore civil service make his autobiography valuable to readers interested in knowing more about Lee’s relationship with his civil service. . . . From reading Hochstadt’s autobiography, the reader gets a sense of how crucial the well-educated University of Malaya graduates were to maintaining and increasing the civil service’s efficiency and expertise, working with the political leaders to implement their policies in an era of early nation-building.”

Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society

Table of Contents

1. The Hochstadt Family: Early History, 2. Pre-War Years and the Japanese Occupation, 3. The Hochstadt House at 14 Parkstone Road, 4. Schooldays, 5. University Days, 6. Working Life: The Early Years, 7. PMO & More, 8, United Nations in New York, London, Nairobi, Dar-es-Salaam, Lusaka, Blantyre, Cairo, Tunis, Algiers, Paris, Belgrade, Moscow, New Delhi, Rangoon, Phnom Penh & Bangkok, 9. Ministry of Interior & Defence, 10. Ministry of Finance: First Homecoming, 11. Ministry of Communication, 12. Ministry of Education, 13. Monetary Authority of Singapore, Ministry of Finance - Final Homecoming - Ministry of Law & Retirement, 14. Afterlife: Non-Resident High Commissioner, 15. Afterlife: Singapore Turf Club, 16. Afterlife: Export Credit Insurance Corporation, 17. Afterlife: Neptune Orient Lines & Maritime Holdings, 18. Afterlife: Singapore Casket Company, 19. Afterlife: Eurasian Association, 20. Epilogue

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