The Book

This is a story about a mother, two daughters, and two dogs.  It’s also about Mozart and Mendelssohn, the piano and the violin, and how we made it to Carnegie Hall.

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…

(From the opening of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother)


Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is bestselling author Amy Chua’s witty, awe-inspiring, and provocative memoir,  revealing the rewards—and the costs—of raising her children the strict “Chinese” way.  Published by The Penguin Press in January 2011, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother was a runaway New York Times bestseller, as well as a bestseller in the U.K., Germany, Israel, Korea, Poland, China, and Taiwan.  The book was the subject of a Time magazine cover story and has been translated into 30 languages.

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Praise for Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is entertaining, bracingly honest and, yes, thought-provoking.” –The New York Times Book Review

“Few have the guts to parent in public. Amy [Chua]‘s memoir is brutally honest, and her willingness to share her struggles is a gift. Whether or not you agree with her priorities and approach, she should be applauded for raising these issues with a thoughtful, humorous and authentic voice.” –Time Magazine

“Courageous and thought-provoking.” –David Brooks, The New York Times

“[A] riveting read… Far from being strident, the book’s tone is slightly rueful, frequently self-deprecating and entirely aware of its author’s enormities… Chua’s story is far more complicated and interesting than what you’ve heard to date — and well worth picking up… I guarantee that if you read the book, there’ll undoubtedly be places where you’ll cringe in recognition, and others where you’ll tear up in empathy.” –San Francisco Chronicle

“Breathtakingly personal…[Chua’s] tale is as compelling as a good thriller.” –The Financial Times

Readers will alternately gasp at and empathize with Chua’s struggles and aspirations, all the while enjoying her writing, which, like her kid-rearing philosophy, is brisk, lively and no-holds-barred. This memoir raises intriguing, sometimes uncomfortable questions about love, pride, ambition, achievement and self-worth that will resonate among success-obsessed parents… Readers of all stripes will respond to [Battle Hymn of the] Tiger Mother.” –The Washington Post

“[F]ascinating. . . . the most stimulating book on the subject of child rearing since Dr. Spock.” — Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“The cultural divide Chua so brilliantly captures is one we stand to witness more and more in our globalized age, after all; and what with Asia and Asian achievement looming ever larger in the American imagination, the issues inherent in Battle Hymn [of the Tiger Mother] are as important as they are entertaining… I was riveted by this book” –Boston Globe

“Humorous and sparky.” –Mail on Sunday (UK)

“Chua’s memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, is a quick, easy read. It’s smart, funny, honest and a little heartbreaking…” –Chicago Sun-Times

“American mothers and fathers are dying for permission to be a little tougher on their kids… These parents have long wrestled with an internal conflict, coddling their kids’ egos to protect their psyches, even as they’ve suspected that that approach might stunt their achievement. [Battle Hymn of the] Tiger Mother resolves that contradiction. What it teaches is that kids might actually want to get ahead just as much as their moms and dads want them to–a message that relieves the guilt of achievement-driven parents, freeing them to let up on the self-esteem boosting and concentrate on the results. Chua may be too extreme to adopt as a role model, but that doesn’t mean these parents won’t turn to her book as their guide.” –Po Bronson, New York Magazine

“Her writing is smart and lively” –Entertainment Weekly

“A treat from first to last: ruefully funny, endlessly self-deprecating, riven with ironies.” – Independent (UK)

“[T] stakes are really high. A parent such as Chua who takes charge against an unrelenting culture of stupidity should be admired, not scorned. She should not be defending herself; instead, we should be taking notes.” –Christian Science Monitor

“A hilarious, hair-raising memoir.” –Sunday Times (UK)

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother hit the parenting hot button, but also a lot more, including people’s complicated feelings about ambition, intellectualism, high culture, the Ivy League, strong women and America’s standing in a world where China is ascendant. Chua’s conviction that hard work leads to inner confidence is a resonant one.” –Chicago Tribune

Chua directly challenges the prevailing Western orthodoxies, in place since Dr. Spock, or even since Freud . . .The analogy of child-rearing to our national situation is clear enough: just as American parents are too concerned with self-esteem without basing self-esteem on an actual accomplishment . . .so our entire culture operates on some notion of natural rights that is no longer realistic. Chuas point is that a delusional culture based on unearned self-esteem cant for long be a realistic player in global competition for influence, power, and resources. Is it possible that we should mind our Tiger Mother?” — Diane Johnson, The New York Review of Books

“[A] jaw-dropping read… Chua raises an interesting set of questions about bringing up children, cultural norms and the confessional mode” –Guardian (UK)

“Chua’s mindset and methods—bolstered by faith in Chinese family tradition—pose a useful challenge for an era haunted by a helicoptering ethos as hard to shake as it is to like. Here is an alternative to the queasy hypocrisy of typical hyperparents, buffeted by shifting expertise that leaves them anxious about overpressuring even as they push. Chua breaks through all that. She is a crusader invigorated by practicing what she preaches: the arduous work she believes necessary to do anything well, child-rearing included… But precisely because Chua slaves away as hard as her girls do, one thing her program is not is guilt-inducing. In the end, her ordeal with Lulu teaches Chua humility and proves her daughter’s very healthy autonomy—and inspires next to no regrets.” –Slate.com

“Chua is unafraid of portraying herself in a less than flattering light, and this honesty serves her purposes well…Chua’s candid family memoir offers valuable insight.” –Bookpage

“The cultural divide Chua so brilliantly captures is one we stand to witness more and more in our globalized age . . . I was riveted by this book, and as the girls’ ambivalence grew, and the story hurtled, inevitably, toward crisis, I cried for them all. It was a relief to learn that the girls went on to help their mother write this book, and gave it their blessing.” — Gish Jen

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, a honest, loving woman with a lot to say.” –Tom Brokaw

 

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