Reviews of Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is the book from Amy Chua that has gleaned so much media attention recently.

Certainly family and child rearing is viewed differently in oriental culture. And certainly a heavy influence is placed on education and achievement in modern Asia, much to their credit.

Having said that, I don’t think Ms Chua’s upbringing by her parents can be described as “typical”.  I don’t dispute anything of her story about her parents or her, this book after all is a memoir of her experience.

The book offers a different perspective on parenting and serves, if nothing else, to make us take a look at our own methods more critically.

Overall Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
is worth the read.  We could all stand to have our perspective challenged once in a while.

Below are more opinions.

From Publishers Weekly

Chua (Day of Empire) imparts the secret behind the stereotypical Asian child’s phenomenal success: the Chinese mother. Chua promotes what has traditionally worked very well in raising children: strict, Old World, uncompromising values–and the parents don’t have to be Chinese. What they are, however, are different from what she sees as indulgent and permissive Western parents: stressing academic performance above all, never accepting a mediocre grade, insisting on drilling and practice, and instilling respect for authority. Chua and her Jewish husband (both are professors at Yale Law) raised two girls, and her account of their formative years achieving amazing success in school and music performance proves both a model and a cautionary tale. Sophia, the eldest, was dutiful and diligent, leapfrogging over her peers in academics and as a Suzuki piano student; Lulu was also gifted, but defiant, who excelled at the violin but eventually balked at her mother’s pushing. Chua’s efforts “not to raise a soft, entitled child” will strike American readers as a little scary–removing her children from school for extra practice, public shaming and insults, equating Western parenting with failure–but the results, she claims somewhat glibly in this frank, unapologetic report card, “were hard to quarrel with.” (Jan.)

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From Booklist

Chua’s stated intent is to present the differences between Western and Chinese parenting styles by sharing experiences with her own children (now teenagers). As the daughter of Chinese immigrants, she is poised to contrast the two disparate styles, even as she points out that being a “Chinese Mother” can cross ethnic lines: it is more a state of mind than a genetic trait. Yet this is a deeply personal story about her two daughters and how their lives are shaped by such demands as Chua’s relentless insistence on straight A’s and daily hours of mandatory music practice, even while vacationing with grandparents. Readers may be stunned by Chua’s explanations of her hard-line style, and her meant-to-be humorous depictions of screaming matches intended to force greatness from her girls. She insists that Western children are no happier than Chinese ones, and that her daughters are the envy of neighbors and friends, because of their poise and musical, athletic, and academic accomplishments. Ironically, this may be read as a cautionary tale that asks just what price should be paid for achievement. –Colleen Mondor

Amazon Reader Review

People who are taking this book the wrong way (particularly those who read the excerpt in the newspapers and not the book itself) are missing the big picture. The book is a memoir, and Chua tells her story no-holds-barred. Her mother is a central figure and her discipline (right or wrong) has shaped who Chua has become….Read More

Amazon Reader Review

My biggest problem with this book is that the author is pitching her child-rearing strategy as some kind of Chinese vs. Western style when in fact it isn’t. As a native Mandarin speaker whose family immigrated to the US during my teens, I can’t have a more different view and life experience from that of the author….Read More

The book is currently available at Amazon  in hardcover from $14.27 and on Kindle from $12.99.  Audio, CD, and audio book are also available.

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

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