AMY CHUA / Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
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This is a story about a mother, two daughters, and two dogs.
This was supposed to be a story of how Chinese parents are better
at raising kids than Western ones.
But instead, it’s about a bitter clash of cultures, a fleeting taste
of glory, and how I was humbled by a thirteen-year-old. —Amy Chua
“A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it’s like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I’ve done it.” Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is bestselling author Amy Chua’s witty, awe-inspiring, and provocative memoir of extreme parenting, revealing the awards—and the costs— of raising her children the Chinese way.
When Amy, a first generation Chinese-American, married Jed they agreed that their children would be raised Jewish, like Jed, but would speak Mandarin Chinese. Amy also decided that she would hew closely to the Chinese tradition of child-rearing. Unlike your typical Western parents, who stress individuality and strive to create a nurturing environment, the Chinese believe you must prepare your children for the future by arming them with skills, strong work habits, and inner confidence. As Amy puts it: “the Chinese mother believes that 1) schoolwork always comes first; 2) an A-minus is a bad grade; 3) your children must be two years ahead of their classmates in math; 4) you must never compliment your children in public; 5) if your child ever disagrees with a teacher or coach, you must always take the side of the teacher or coach; 6) the only activities your children should be permitted to do are those in which they can eventually win a medal; and 7) that medal must be gold.”
With remarkable honesty and a great sense of humor, Amy chronicles her and her daughters’ experiences: the constant drills, the endless piano and violin practice, the successes (hello, Carnegie Hall) and the challenges—including a rebellion that upends all of Amy’s carefully laid plans. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is an eye-opening exploration of the differences in Eastern and Western parenting that is sure to spark a national conversation about what it means to be a good parent.
"Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is the book we've all been waiting for – a candid, provocative, poignant and vicarious journey through the Chinese-American family culture. It will leave you breathless with its bluntness and emotion. Amy Chua is a Tiger Mother, a greatly gifted law professor and, ultimately, an honest, loving woman with a lot to say." –Tom Brokaw
Amy Chua is the daughter of Chinese immigrants, who arrived in the U.S. as graduate students in 1960. Along with her three younger sisters, Amy grew up in the Midwest under conditions of extremely strict but also extremely loving “Chinese parenting.” She attended El Cerrito High School in California and went on to graduate from Harvard College (1984) and Harvard Law School (1987).
After law school, Amy practiced on Wall Street for a few years, and then taught at Duke, Stanford, and NYU. In 2001 she joined the faculty of the Yale Law School, where she teaches in the areas of contracts, law and development, international business transactions, and law and globalization. She is a recipient of the Yale Law School’s “Best Teaching” award.
Amy’s first book, World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability, was a New York Times bestseller. Her second book, Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance – and Why They Fall, was a critically acclaimed Foreign Affairs bestseller.