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.)
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.