Amy Chua, 'Tiger Mom'

February 18, 2011 5:27:22 AM PST
Unlike your typical Western parents, who stress individuality and strive to create a nurturing environment, the Chinese believe you must prepare your children for the future by arming them with skills, strong work habits, and inner confidence.

"A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it's like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I've done it." And so begins BATTLE HYMN OF THE TIGER MOTHER (On sale: January 11, 2011; $25.95), bestselling author Amy Chua's witty, provocative, and utterly absorbing memoir of her experience in extreme parenting, revealing the rewards-and the costs- of raising her children the Chinese way.

As Amy puts it: "the Chinese mother believes that 1) schoolwork always comes first; 2) an A-minus is a bad grade; 3) your children must be two years ahead of their classmates in math; 4) you must never compliment your children in public; 5) if your child ever disagrees with a teacher or coach, you must always take the side of the teacher or coach; 6) the only activities your children should be permitted to do are those in which they can eventually win a medal; and 7) that medal must be gold."

With remarkable honesty and a biting sense of humor, Amy chronicles her and her daughters' experiences: the constant drills, the endless piano and violin practice, the competitions, and the many sacrifices. In many ways the Chinese-parenting model produces awe-inspiring results. Sophia and Louisa (Lulu) are fantastic students, have exceptional musical abilities, and are polite, interesting, and extremely likeable. But there is one potential wrench in the works: while Sophia flourishes under Amy's exacting parenting, Lulu, strong-willed and fiery, rebels-threatening to upend all of her mother's carefully laid plans.

Amy struggles to find a balance between her dreams for her children and letting them succeed on their own terms-and she is far from perfect. But in her devotion to her children-the 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. A rare and very entertaining look inside a family, BATTLE HYMN OF THE TIGER MOTHER is an eye-opening exploration of the differences in Asian and Western parenting -and the lessons parents and children everywhere teach each other.

About the Author:

Amy Chua is the John M. Duff Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Her first book, World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability, a New York Times bestseller, was selected by The Economist as one of the best books of 2003. Her second book, Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance-and Why They Fall, was a critically acclaimed Foreign Affairs bestseller. She lives with her husband, two daughters, and two Samoyeds in New Haven, Connecticut.

"Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is the book we've all been waiting for-a candid, provocative, poignant and vicarious journey through the Chinese-American family culture. It will leave you breathless with its bluntness and emotion. Amy Chua is a Tiger Mother, a greatly gifted law professor and, ultimately, an honest, loving woman with a lot to say." -Tom Brokaw

"Chua (Day of Empire) imparts the secret behind the stereotypical Asian child's phenomenal success: the Chinese mother?.Frank, unapologetic." - Publishers Weekly