This book is about how the crisis of (mostly) Asian currencies in the late 1990s (Russia and Brazil also figured in this) threatened to bring down the international system of money and capital. The International Monetary Fund intervened, with controversial results. Were they helping or seeking to preserve a privileged status quo? Both?
The Chastening is another opportunity to learn about the nature of money, the IMF and international currency valuation. But I think I also learned a lot about the perils of too much foreign investment and unrealistic expectations in emerging markets.
As an American, you haven't had to learn too much about how currency devaluation, capital flight or exchange rates can rock your world. Welcome to the planet, friends!
If you're looking for clues for what could be coming to a trash-strewn, zombie-infested street near you, pick up this book.