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There are currently 27 reader reviews for Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
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Beth C. (Sioux Falls, SD)
Clash of Cultures
Amy Chua, daughter of Chinese immigrants, had what she felt was a traditional Chinese-American upbringing. All of the emphasis was on success - in school, selected activities, and work. Family always came first and being second was failure. When her own daughters were born, she and her Jewish-American husband agreed that she could use the Chinese-American model with them. Thus, eldest daughter Sophia was taught to read and do math before ever reaching school age. She was also started on piano lessons at age three. the music lessons in particular required Amy to be the "tiger" mother - one who is often hated, as she insisted on strict practice times and routines. With her second daughter, Lulu, Amy used the same approach. However, while Sophia was mostly agreeable, Lulu rebelled at every chance. She was taking violin lessons and was excellent with the instrument, but family life was frequently in turmoil as she resisted the "tiger" pushing her towards success. This memoir tells Amy Chua's side of the family behavior - what she expected, what she hoped for and what the girls accomplished. It is an enjoyable foray into the behind the scenes activities of Chinese-American family life. The book would appeal to readers of ethnic literature as well as memoir readers. It would make an interesting book club choice.
Ann L. (Arnold, MD)
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
This book by Amy Chua is a well written, easy to read story about a Chinese American mother who decides to raise her two daughters the Chinese way instead of the American way. Ms. Chua's writing style is smooth, clear and flows well. She is very skilled at writing objectively about herself and her story is well balanced. There is not too much bragging or too much putting herself down. I enjoyed reading this book and she is rightfully proud of her two daughters.
Dorothy M. (Maynard, MA)
A Look at Chinese Parenting
Amy Chua begins her book on the value of Chinese parenting with a list of what her children were never allowed to do - including watch TV or play computer games, have a playdate, or not play the piano or violin. And it includes such parenting tactics as telling her young daughter "If the next time's not PERFECT, I'm going to TAKE ALL YOUR STUFFED ANIMALS AND BURN THEM!." While she seems convinced that Chinese children are ultimately grateful for this kind of parenting, her description of the relationship with her younger daughter doesn't bear this out. While this is an interesting look at a different culture (and they do say this will be the century of the Chinese), I think most American parents will find it more disturbing than prescriptive. But there are a lot of really wonderful Chinese musicians and mathematicians.