What’s That Book? Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua

Whats That Book

:  Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

Author:  Amy Chua

Genre: Memoir

Rating:  **

What’s it about?  Amy Chua describes the strict disciplined methods she used to shape her two daughters into accomplished Chinese-American musicians and students.  Persistent criticism, narrow-minded outbursts and manipulative tactics were the norm in this toxic family environment.  A rebellious younger daughter pushes back, forcing Chua to double down on her methods. Includes many insulting stereotypes of other parenting styles, declaring her altered version of the Chinese method superior.

How did you hear about it?  A book club selection

Closing comments:  This book received a great deal of attention when it was first published in 2011.  While Chua fully admits to making mistakes along the way, she clearly believes her method is the best and shows little respect for other cultures.

A 2014 article from The Guardian, “The truth about the Tiger Mother’s family” takes a closer look at Chua a few years later.

She and her husband, Jed Rubenfeld are law professors at Yale and have since co-written a new book (2014), The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America, a look at why certain groups in America do better than others (check it out here).

Contributor:  Ginette

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4 thoughts on “What’s That Book? Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua

  1. I read the book and could relate to point of view. As a first generation American, I endured a similar parenting style. Hated it, but other adults that had to deal with me and my siblings as children appreciated that we were well mannered compared the other kids (for the most part). Initially, people thought the book was bashing non-asian parents, but I think she presented a balanced view with regard to parenting styles based on her experience as a child with a traditional asian upbringing and parent raising children with American cultural influences

    1. Hi, thanks for reading and commenting. I think it’s dangerous to make generalizations and assumptions about any group and that’s where Chua gets into trouble. A person can only truly know his/her own experiences, what worked and what didn’t. That’s fine, but claiming that all American parents overindulge their children, let them sit in front of a screen all day and don’t encourage them to excel takes it too far. I’m all for raising kids who behave, are respectful, do their homework and for teaching them to set goals, etc. I think many different cultures share these beliefs and raise happy and successful kids. Of course, her experiences were very different from others, but that doesn’t make her method the only or best one. – Ginette

  2. I remember hearing about this book when it first came out and being curious. Thanks for refreshing my memory – gotta go put it on my stack to read one of these days!

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