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Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother Paperback – 2 Feb 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks (2 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408822075
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408822074
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Blissfully funny' (India Knight, Sunday Times)

When an entire nation reacts so strongly to something you know you have hit a nerve. And Amy did ... she should be applauded for raising these issues with a thoughtful, humorous and authentic voice (Sheryl Sandberg (author of LEAN IN), Time magazine's '100 most influential people in the world')

'Millions of British children could use a Tiger Mother in their tank' (Allison Pearson, Daily Telegraph)

'A treat from first to last: ruefully funny, endlessly self-deprecating, riven with ironies .. I relished this memoir' (Independent)

'Entertaining, bracingly honest and, yes, thought-provoking' (New York Times)

Book Description

The most talked about book of the year

The Sunday Times bestseller

The New York Times bestseller

Der Spiegel bestseller

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 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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