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Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

Chua, Amy (Book - 2011 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
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Traces the rewards and pitfalls of a Chinese mother's exercise in extreme parenting, describing the exacting standards applied to grades, music lessons, and avoidance of Western cultural practices.
Authors: Chua, Amy
Title: Battle hymn of the tiger mother
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2011
Characteristics: 237 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
Contents: 1: The Chinese mother
Sophia
Louisa
The Chuas
On generational decline
The virtuous circle
Tiger luck
Lulu's instrument
The violin
Teeth marks and bubbles
"The little white donkey"
The cadenza
2: Coco
London, Athens, Barcelona, Bombay
Popo
The birthday card
Caravan to Chautauqua
The swimming hole
How you get to Carnegie Hall
How you get to Carnegie Hall, part 2
The debut and the audition
Blowout in Budapest
3: Pushkin
Rebellion
Darkness
Rebellion, part 2
Katrin
The sack of rice
Despair
"Hebrew melody"
Red square
The symbol
Going West
The ending
Summary: Traces the rewards and pitfalls of a Chinese mother's exercise in extreme parenting, describing the exacting standards applied to grades, music lessons, and avoidance of Western cultural practices.
ISBN: 1594202842
9781594202841
Branch Call Number: 306.8743 C559b
HQ759 .C59 2011
Statement of Responsibility: Amy Chua
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 233-235)
Subject Headings: Mothers and daughters United States Mothers and daughters China Mothers United States Biography East and West Biography Chinese American women Biography Chua, Amy
Topical Term: Mothers and daughters
Mothers and daughters
Mothers
East and West
Chinese American women
LCCN: 2010029623
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I read this book because I thought my Western parents were perhaps a bit too lax about my schooling. I was curious to find out about an alternative way, perhaps for raising my own children.
What I found from this book is that Tiger Parenting is not just another way of raising children. Instead it is part of a soulless paradigm of competitive consumerist capitalism. The author is sadly so deeply trapped within her own axiomatic beliefs that what really matters in life is material success, that she can imagine no other way of living (simplicity, harmony, frugality, modesty, etc.).
This constant striving seems like no way to live, as happiness is always hours of practice in some imagined future. A memorable moment in the book was when the Tiger Mother was dissatisfied to realized that though her daughter was playing in Carnegie hall, her daughter was not playing in the largest of the three Carnegie halls, and that more work and practicing were needed.
After reading this, I no longer think that my Western parents should have pushed me more in school/extra-curriculars, instead of letting me play with friends and have lots of unstructured free-time as I did. Whenever I think back about this book I feel nausea.

Apr 09, 2014
  • andreas1111 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

First of all saying that this book is about "Chinese parenting" is misleading. This is at most a book about upper middle class Chinese American parenting.

The book will annoy many people, but it is also pretty funny in places and oddly compelling. Overall I enjoyed the read.

I wouldn't look to this book for practical advice. But still, leaving aside the over the top craziness of Ms Chua there are a few good points here. One is that it is OK (and good) to hold your kids to high expectations. The other is that expertise takes hard work and dedication.

Some of the annoying things. (1) The assumption that the only worthy extra-curricular activities are violin and piano, (2) Pervasive stereotyping of Western and Chinese parenting, (3) Taking too much credit for the "success" of her children, (4) Bad math - Asians in North America do often excel in school but simple math suggest that not all of them are #1 in the class.

Sep 05, 2013
  • nuttybrown rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

It was a fast read. I don't know if I could live in a household with such a strong and driven person. Another thing that bothered me was that her husband let her get away with so much bullying. She believed that she loved her girls and was doing what was best for them. But I believe she did it for herself. Lulu will probably never touch a violin again. Heaven help her if she had a child with a learning disability.

Apr 12, 2013
  • weirdduck88 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

It's too bad people don't see this book for what it's worth but get caught up in disagreeing with because of their own beliefs. Chua's writing is accessible, clear, nostalgic, very honest, and humourous. Although there were times where I thought she was going too far, there was enough awareness, either through herself or through one of her family members, to at least make her actions understandable.

This book isn't for everyone, but it does reveal a lot about Chinese parenting. Keep an open mind.

Mar 18, 2013
  • andrea_gregus rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Loved this book. Easy to ready. Interesting to hear about this mother raising her kids.

When I suggest this book to others, the response I get back 99% of the time is something along the lines of "oh I'm not reading that, that women is a neurotic child abuser". But that's not what Chua's story is really about, it's not a defence of her child rearing methods. This is a story of a mother wanting the best for her daughters and learning that there isn't just one fail proof way to ensure successful productive lives for her kids. You will be abhorred at times, but also left cheering for Lulu (her rebellious younger daughter) and heart warmed by Chua's personal stories. A definite "don't knock it before you try it".

Aug 03, 2012
  • richardhe rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I was surprisingly entertained. I don't care about children or parenting but Chua tells the story of her family very captivatingly. The book is well-written except the ending. Felt as if Chua was tired of writing this and wanted to get it over with.

People below have been criticizing this book as if it was justifying Chua's style of parenting. That is not the message. It is simply a memoir in which Chua often mocks herself and is quite humourous. If at all, this book clarifies flaws in both "Western" and "Chinese" parenting and it definitely does not dictate that one is more evil than the other.

Jun 23, 2012
  • bobgrant rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

This book has precious little to do with the narrator being a mother. This is a woman who cannot control herself so controls others. She spends a lot of time railing at her daughters about x or y, yelling and screaming and generally making everyone miserable because she feels inadequate. She doesn't actually know her kids all that well: her youngest daughter actually hacks off her own hair in a silent plea for understanding and even that doesn't work. The Chinese child-rearing vs the Western (and apparently entirely evil) child-rearing theme is a smoke screen for Chua's insecurity and self-involvement. Chua insists she is making her kids tough and the phrases "the best" and "the first" come up over and over. What she does not address is the what will happen if one is not the best or first at something; the sky may not fall, nor civization grind to a halt. Chua is unfortunately so obsessed with the outer trappings of life that she does not give herself or her kids the chance to look past them to see what might actually matter. Does being first count if no one else is keeping score?

Jun 14, 2012
  • pplarel rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book went so fast - I could not put it down. It was very engrossing, very funny. There were many moments when I connected with how the children must feel and how Amy felt.

May 12, 2012
  • loonylovesgood rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Interesting to hear this perspective on raising children. It is certainly not the way I will raise mine, but I appreciated her honest and candid view on things. Also, the first full-length book I read as an ebook!

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4789ce thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Aug 03, 2012
  • richardhe rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

richardhe thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Oct 01, 2011
  • marishkajuko rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

marishkajuko thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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