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Miss Lisa

Thank you to my Mexican-American mom for being the opposite of this woman. Well, not entirely. I call her a perfectionist with a heart. And tortillas. Always a full pack of tortillas in the 'fridge. Love.


i can't help but think the furor over this book is largely fueld by our view of big bad China and it's evil ways... This chick is way over the top but I certainly prefer discipline over the currently popular Let's Be Friends style of parenting.


While I do feel in some ways the U.S' idea of parenting has gotten soft and helicopter-like, hearing the way she talks to her children in some scenes is nauseating. While I was never beaten or starved, our family has a long and dubious history of verbal abuse of children, and I feel that can be just as damaging as slapping a kid in the face. There is a happy medium in every culture and the East and West should be trying to find it. Calling children dumb/stupid/idiots/imbeciles/etc is not encouraging anything.




You got it. To borrow from Sontag, "Pure Camp is always naive." Chua is nothing less than that.


Love your point of view. Of course you would see her in terms of reality TV...
The Disney movie she describes sounds like Little Mermaid 2 to me lol


Chua is the most articulate Toddlers & Tiaras mother ever

Oh my goodness, thank you. Now I have an example to point to when I hear, "We don't do that to our kids here!"


Although I don't agree with the overly lax style of American parenting, I definitely do not approve of the traditional Chinese style of parenting depicted in this book. I've known many Asians who were perfectionists and won accolades in their own right while growing up, only to end up with severe depression, anxiety disorders and other ailments. They resent their parents and look at them with contempt for how they treated them. Heck, my non-Asian parents had a similar style of parenting as Chua, and although I have enough childhood trophies, awards and diplomas to fill an office, I suffer from panic attacks and have pretty much limited any and all contact with my parents to a minimum.

If I could read this book from your detached point of view Rich, I would enjoy it almost as much as you did. However, this farce hits too close to home for me to find it funny.


Her kids are still kids; fifteen and eighteen, right? She's counting her eggs before they graduate college.


One of my colleagues is Chinese, and she tells me that at the age of 6, when she wanted to quit violin lessons, her mom told her : 'Daughter, you are breaking my heart, but if that is your choice, go on and find yourself other parents because I cannot accept your choice.' Of course she had to continue, ridden with guilt (and unable to find other parents at the mere age of 6!).

This girl is 25 today and still fears her mother's reaction if she doesn't eat her home-made lunches at work. When she is sick, her mom makes her 'potions' to drink and the girl wouldn't DARE not drinking them, even if they are brownish black and do smell terrible.

I don't even know her mom but I'm afraid of her! This is what your Tiger Mother post reminds me of. I don't think I could read this book and still sleep at night ;)


I still can't believe people mistook Chua's tone as "deathly serious" in that WSJ excerpt. As a white kid forced to go to an abusive private clarinet teacher for years, I damn near pissed my pants reading about the piano lesson. Nothing she wrote there was any more offensive than a "black people walk like this, and white people walk like this joke." She just didn't give people the obvious joke lead-ins.

In other words, I think this is intended to be a campy memoir. It's not a serious study on parenting. Believe me, I've read enough "my children are perfect because I raised them right" memoirs to know when someone is poking fun at the genre.


She is crazy. No one should suffer what she's put her kids through, no matter how okay they were. The world's greatest are often screwed up though.


I watch the Biggest Loser and last season they had a chinese american girl on riddled with guilt over her brother's death (also one of the reasons she was obese from over eating) because her parents blamed her for his death her entire life. How can anyone do that to another person, let alone a child? Coming right out and saying, "this is your fault adn now you're also fat, which is a disgrace". She confronted them with her feelings in the end and everything is probably better now, so it all turned out ok but damn, it's not cultural thing I agree with. Like someone else said, look at asian adults and see how content they are with themselves and their life. They may be successful on the surface but what is their inner life like?

Balance in all things. Discipline combined with kindness and love goes a long way.

asian adult

"look at asian adults and see how content they are with themselves and their life. They may be successful on the surface but what is their inner life like?"

Generalizing much?


I love this review. I was actually feeling kind of horrified by Amy Chua and now I'm kind of amused by her. Thank you Rich!



I remember my best friends in middle school were all chinese, and all of their mothers were like this. I never saw most of them weeknights, and they were never allowed to sleep over. Two girls played the piano, the other a violin.
One of those girls went nuts in highschool though, really got into drug culture and other weirdly alternative things ~ tripping on E and shrooms at school etc etc. Yet she got into universities I didn't, because she somehow managed to keep her grades impeccable in spite of all her extracurriculars. Still, though, she's such a hippie and it was quite a change at the time it happened.


No offense intended, asian adult. That was in response to the thread and what someone else said here. I would say that about anyone, not just asians.


My parents ignored my intelligence in a particular way (I was forced to find a different clarinet tutor at age 12, despite having the best in the state, because my mother wanted one that was a 10 minute drive away instead of a 20 minute drive away... I guess that is not exactly ignoring; I don't even know what it is) and then divorced because my mother was bored with my father. I am scarred for a variety of reasons, and I can only dream that I was as happy at 18 as Sophia seems to be. I would much rather have grown up with a Tiger Mom, personally!


Wow, I think you captured her psyche perfectly here: "Chua is very, very good at talking about herself, but somewhat deficient in understanding her effect on people."

I know several highly educated, highly successful people like Chua who have exactly the same M.O.

My hunch is that she wrote this in full belief that she was showing something to be proud of, then the furor over her book appeared, and she realized "Oh crap, this could actually affect my career and how my colleagues perceive me." And thus she's now backpedalling.

Mary Backstayge

I for one can't wait to see what happens to these girls, particularly the older one, when they get to college. Yikes!


How many of the people geeking out over this womans' parenting have ever had their young daughter play Carnegie Hall?

Just sayin'.

captain america



I kind of love this woman-- the book was rather enjoyable to read. Coming from strict European parents, none of her "shocking" parenting methods really phased me: my mother to this day won't accept a gift from me unless it's "the best I could possibly give". You learn to roll with the punches.

Viagra Generic

You are too intelligent? How do you come across such topics and how do you go about, that you do not miss out on any angle or
even the intricate factors of this subject. I am quite a fan of yours now

First time reader

And that is to say that Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is fantastically entertaining, specifically for someone like me, who doesn't want kids of his own and is never particularly excited to be around others'.

This is EXACTLY what I was thinking as I read about the book and read the article for the first time! I'm Childfree and I have a sort of... freaky interest in this book that I can't explain, even though I'll never be a Tiger Mother or any sort of mother.

Thanks for your review

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