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Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother Hardcover – 10 Jan 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; First Edition edition (10 Jan 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408812673
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408812679
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.2 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

`One of the most controversial books of 2011' --Guardian

`If you think you are ambitious for your child, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother will make you think again ... Amy Chua's philosophy of child-rearing may be harsh and not for the fainthearted, but ask yourself this: is it really more cruel than the laissez-faire indifference and babysitting-by-TV which too often passes for parenting these days? Millions of failing British children could use a Tiger Mother in their tank' --Allison Pearson, Daily Telegraph

`Blissfully funny ... The book, for all its hilarious/hair-raising insights into how to raise terrifyingly over-accomplished children, strikes me as ultimately being not so much about parenting methods as about the immigrant experience, though the two are of course inextricably intertwined ... Chua remains a second-generation immigrant who wants the best for her children. It is not hard to understand if you know the milieu, and not hard either to feel a sneaking admiration for her' --India Knight, Sunday Times

`Could it be that much of the laissez-faire parenting of the modern West uses the idea of enlightened liberality to give an intellectual justification for what is actually a form of laziness? ... If it's results you want, then the Chinese mother does indeed know best' --Dominic Lawson, Independent

`Her tale is compelling in the same way as a good thriller'
--Financial Times

`[Chua's] exhortations for perfection struck a little chord in me ... Ever since reading about her I've decided to become a little bit harder, and that's a good thing. I will polish those rough diamonds of mine' --Adam Brophy, Irish Times

`[An] alternately terrifying and amusing account of how a hyper-achieving Chinese mother in America raised her children to be accomplished musicians, mathematicians and linguists by yelling at them 24 hours a day. Dammit, her kids look happy too' --Martin Ivens, Sunday Times

`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 ... [a] slickly well-shaped story' --Janet Masun, New York Times

`So I'm not against the way Chua pushes her daughters. And I loved her book as a courageous and thought-provoking read. It's also more supple than her critics let on'
--David Brooks, New York Times

Book Description

Witty, entertaining and provocative, this is a unique and important memoir that will transform your perspective of parenting forever

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Jun 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I remember once attending a school coffee morning and complaining afterwards to a friend of mine, who is from Hong Kong, how competitive some parents are. To say she was aghast is understating the case - "No," she exclaimed, "Hong Kong is much harder to bring your child up - very, very competitive!" After reading this book, I perhaps understand what she meant. Amy Chua brought her two daughters up, in the US, but on the Chinese parenting model. This book does explain why, and how, there are so many academically brilliant Chinese students; not to mention so many gifted musicians, chess champions, etc. However, it also explains the cost of putting this intense programme into action - no playdates, sleepovers, and an over scheduling which sounded exhausting for her, let alone a child.

Amy Chua obviously has a great belief in her parenting methods and she is, at times, quite shockingly aggressive about 'Western' methods. However, she herself admits that she prefers to learn things by rote and found a career in Law uncomfortable by her unwillingness to 'question', which perhaps meant the model worked for her and so she approved of it whole heartedly for her own children. This, however, I believe is the true shortcoming in her approach - yes, children do need to learn some things by rote, but to be real learners for life, you need to inspire and create a love of learning and a willingness to try things without fear of failure. All you can do, ultimately, for children is to open doors - let them experience different activities and choose which of those they enjoy. To battle with your children over music practice day after day must surely be draining for everyone in the house and, you do wonder at the cost of success.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Vero Leonie on 26 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I personally found Amy Chua's sino-centric view more disturbing than her parenting method. She admits that the terms "Chinese Mother" and "Western Mother" to depict stereotypically stricter versus more liberal parents. The former may include "some Korean, Indian, Jamaican, Irish and Ghanaian parents who qualify too" (p. 4) whereas "mothers of Chinese heritage, almost always born in the West" would be classified as a Western Mother (p. 4). Why couldn't she have just said "Stricter Mother" and "Not-As-Strict Mother", or something along that line, whenever it could refer anyone with such trait? Also, I found one of her descriptions particularly upsetting, where she says "He [the boy who initially beats Sophia in a class test, but becomes a runner-up later after Chua rote drills her daughter] went back to Korea with his family, but probably not because of the test" (p. 70). I understand that some readers may criticise my viewpoint by saying that it is only an humour, but anyway, did she really have to include it?

Other than that, the book started off alright, and I initially took Amy Chua as an overly passionate, career-driven and ambitious mother, who spits out some fiery words out of anger (rather than actually meaning them). However, I began to get annoyed at the fact that she fails to disclose disadvantages of East Asian rote drilling parenting method in full, as she has mentioned in Western counterpart (although she does say that Chinese parenting does not guarantee happiness). One of the major advantages and disadvantages of rote drilling versus Western parenting methods is that rote drilling does help to create a well-rounded individual, but may make him/her difficult to think outside the box.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Floribus on 27 Feb 2012
Format: Paperback
I finished reading Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother in just over an hour. It was a very entertaining read and I do feel that Amy has been gravely misunderstood, from some of the reviews of this book (not on Amazon but other publications). First and foremost, as a woman of South East Asian chinese descent I will say that it takes a lot of guts for Amy to write about her rise and fall in her super quest for her children to be nothing but the best. She also comes across in her book as someone who is completely self aware of the situation- making a parody of herself if you will- and finally realising that her discipline heavy approach did not quite cut the mustard with Lulu. Unorthodox and cruel as certain quarters may feel her methods are, I think one message is clear- she never told her daughters that "you can never do this, you are not good enough". Her berating and temper only flares up when they were not trying hard enough.

There is nothing worse than raising a child to be an adult with low self esteem and self doubt. Too often, parents give up easily when their children throw tantrums and then these children later on grow up wishing they had put more effort into what they had been doing ("should have practised more piano, should have done this, should have tried harder etc"). The mental and physical challenges required of any individual working on something full time, be it sports, music, arts, etc, resembles a marathon, your legs are killing you but you want to get to the finishing line because you have come this far and there really is no turning back.

As with any other book I think a balanced approach must be adopted.
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