Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

Amy Chua
An awe-inspiring, often hilarious, and unerringly honest story of one mother's exercise in extreme parenting, revealing the rewards-and the costs-of raising her children the Chinese way. All decent parents want to do what's best for their children. What Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother reveals is that the Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that. Western parents try to respect their children's individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions and providing a nurturing environment. The Chinese believe that the best way to protect your children is by preparing them for the future and arming them with skills, strong work habits, and inner confidence. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother chronicles Chua's iron-willed decision to raise her daughters, Sophia and Lulu, her way-the Chinese way-and the remarkable results her choice inspires. Here are some things Amy Chua would never allow her daughters to do: • have a playdate • be in a school play • complain about not being in a school play • not be the #1 student in every subject except gym and drama • play any instrument other than the piano or violin • not play the piano or violin The truth is Lulu and Sophia would never have had time for a playdate. They were too busy practicing their instruments (two to three hours a day and double sessions on the weekend) and perfecting their Mandarin. Of course no one is perfect, including Chua herself. Witness this scene: "According to Sophia, here are three things I actually said to her at the piano as I supervised her practicing: 1. Oh my God, you're just getting worse and worse. 2. I'm going to count to three, then I want musicality. 3. If the next time's not PERFECT, I'm going to take all your stuffed animals and burn them!" But Chua demands as much of herself as she does of her daughters. And in her sacrifices-the exacting attention spent studying her daughters' performances, the office hours lost shuttling the girls to lessons-the depth of her love for her children becomes clear. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is an eye-opening exploration of the differences in Eastern and Western parenting--and the lessons parents and children everywhere teach one another.


Reviewed: 2017-04-02
A painfully honest story of a mom's quest to make her kids as good as possible. I often wish that my parents had driven me as hard as Amy Chua drove Sophia and Lulu. It's nice to hear a non-defensive version of dedicated, driven parenting. I can definitely see why people can be taken aback by the book though.
Reviewed: 2017-01-02
I sincerely hope this book was embellished, as she mentions about one of the stories she tells her husband. Some of the material in this book, or a recounting of raising her two daughters and their relationship, is definitely over the top. Some of it might not be too off the mark in some cases, but I couldn't help but be a little skeptical about some of these stories.

This book is also a little less about raising children and about the author herself. Which is both good and bad, but the media obviously hyped it up. The overall narrative is rather disjointed, with interjections of other family member's stories. It's especially jarring at the end, when the author's sister is diagnosed with cancer. I can see what the author was trying to do, but it doesn't quite work overall.

Honestly I hope the story is embellished, because her kids are going to be messed up. Supposedly they handled it all quite well and are apparently more afraid of their dad than mom (which says a WHOLE LOT), and they easily defended their mother in tv interviews. However, family piety and loyalty are big things in Asian cultures, and I wouldn't be surprised to find that the daughters felt it was their duty to defend their mother from the outside world.

Glad I bought this at a bargain. Borrow it from the library if you can.
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