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Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Amy Chua

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1,2781156,154 (3.55)69
Title:Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
Authors:Amy Chua
Info:Penguin Press HC, The (2011), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:A Non-Fiction

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Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua (2011)



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Showing 1-5 of 112 (next | show all)
An interesting book that doesn't quite belong on the shelf with the other Chinese-American women's memoirs and biographies (Fifth Chinese Daughter, Woman Warrior, etc.). It's worth reading and discussing, but it's not a literary classic. For discussion purposes, we're passing it around in the family. My first daughter, like Ms. Chua's, is a monkey year child, amiable and co-operative. And Asian.

This daughter says, in retrospect, she wishes I had been more forceful about her piano education. I did insist on practice, and directed practice, but not for multiple hours a day. And when she was 10, after a move from a major city with every facility to a rural area, in my confusion and disorientation, I allowed her piano lessons to languish for more than a year with a mediocre teacher -- whose credentials were better than adequate but who lacked the drive for perfection of the Chinese teacher we eventually found (and who, like one teacher in Amy Chua's book, virulently resented us moving on to a better teacher). But I might lack a certain talent for pressure, and also for music. Going way back to her fifth year of life, half a year into our Suzuki piano lessons, Eldest Daughter insisted that I stop practicing with her because I didn't play as well as she did.

To be a Tiger mom, perhaps you have to be born a Tiger. My husband is as Chinese as he could possibly be, but he too couldn't have endured the high-volume fights Chua describes with heartbreaking frankness. There must be more than one way to be a high-expectation Asian parent. Perhaps a Rabbit Mother book or a Monkey Mother book will solve the dilemma for the rest of us. ( )
  muumi | Apr 1, 2017 |
Tiger mother? Or any 'ethnic' mother with a fierce desire to give her children a better life than the one she had. Yeah, she's a bit nuts at times and gives in to the never-ending roller coaster of multiple children's activities but this is intense writing and a glimpse into a world many may never see otherwise. Had first hand knowledge of this world in 9th grade Biology when Ernest Chin wept in class when he did not get an A on test and was afraid of what parents' reaction would be. I didn't feel too badly for him because his tears quickly subsided when he found out I got a better grade than he did. He was totally pissed at that. ( )
  TimDel | Feb 2, 2017 |
This was surprisingly funny and I only felt like a slacker parent about half the time. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
As a book, it's just okay. As a conversation piece, it's a must-read. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
Interesting and thought provoking book. I don’t know whether to admire this woman or hate her. As a parent of a grown child, I feel like such a selfish failure. How much more wonderful would my child have been if I had been this sort of drill sergeant über-father. This book makes me want to be very defensive now—I was not as strict parent, and my child and I enjoyed his growing up period, and he is not in therapy. Still, it is kind of hard to argue against success. The author’s two daughters are A students, and musical prodigies. My son was not an A student and he was not a musical prodigy, but we live healthy normal lives. There are no free lunches in this world. The author produced two exceptional daughters, but I have to question the price she paid. I suspect most of us are unwilling to pay this price. ( )
1 vote ramon4 | Sep 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 112 (next | show all)
...Amy Chua's unexceptional memoir about her dedication to raising children who excel...
added by atbradley | editThe Guardian, Terri Apter (Jan 29, 2011)
“There are all these new books out there portraying Asian mothers as scheming, callous, overdriven people indifferent to their kids’ true interests,” Amy Chua writes. She ought to know, because hers is the big one: “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” a diabolically well-packaged, highly readable screed ostensibly about the art of obsessive parenting. In truth, Ms. Chua’s memoir is about one little narcissist’s book-length search for happiness. And for all its quotable outbursts from Mama Grisly (the nickname was inevitable), it will gratify the same people who made a hit out of the granola-hearted “Eat, Pray, Love.”
Parenting and child psychology take up most of the self-help book genre, stressing the point that every parent must develop their own creative and suitable ways to deal with their child.

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother stands out from its genre contemporaries, as author Amy Chua delves right into the techniques she used to raise her own genius daughters, who are very lucky. Why? Because they're Chinese! Yes, the author aims at educating the unfortunate rest of the world on how to raise their kids to be more like the genius race that is the Chinese.

Chua believes that the Chinese race is superior because of the mothers’ tough parenting techniques: for example, the Chinese mother considers an A- grade a bad grade, never compliments her kids in public, and only allows them to participate in activities from which they’ll win a trophy or medal; and it must be gold.

The controversy that this book has caused has been mainly down to how the author compares the know-it-all 'Chinese mother' to the typical good-for-nothing 'Western mother'. That being said, the book itself is very captivating, divided into stories and anecdotes that are both educating and suspenseful, with organized profiles on her family. Her controversial theory, however, may jar with parents who do not fall in line with the author’s ideals.

It’s important to remember that everyone has their own parenting methods. So, if you come out with just one thing from this book, it may be that if having no social life, being forced into hobbies, and being under constant pressure to score the best grades is what it takes for a kid to be genius, then perhaps it’s not worth it after all.

It’s easier to read the book as an autobiography than as a self-help book; that way you can enjoy the mother’s thoughts on her daughters’ upbringing and the methods that she used. That way, the book won’t ruffle your feathers or come across as condescending to those who might be in the firing line of the straight-talking Chua.

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Amy Chuaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Laroche, NicoleDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schaden, BarbaraÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Sophia and Louisa

And for Katrin
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A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids.
What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you're good at it.
I can't tell you how many Asian kids I've met who, while acknowledging how oppressively strict and brutally demanding their parents were, happily describe themselves as devoted to their parents and unbelievably grateful to them, seemingly without a trace of bitterness or resentment.

I'm not really sure why this is. Maybe it's brainwashing. Or maybe it's Stockholm syndrome. But here's one thing I'm sure of: Western children are definitely no happier than Chinese ones.
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Book description

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.
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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.

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