The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America
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The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  666 ratings  ·  178 reviews
"That certain groups do much better in America than othersas measured by income, occupational status, test scores, and so onis difficult to talk about. In large part this is because the topic feels racially charged. The irony is that the facts actually debunk racial stereotypes. There are black and Hispanic subgroups in the United States far outperforming many white and...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by Penguin Press HC, The (first published February 1st 2014)
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Tim Collins
Before I sing the accolades of this book, let's examine my experience with it. Before reading The Triple Package (I think The Triple Threat would be far more memorable, sticky, and therefore a better title), I had read Suketu Mehta's February 3, 2014 Time article titled, The 'Tiger Mom' Superiority Complex. Mehta made some convincing arguments that the populations examined in the book were largely due to sociological factors making her argument invalid. Without him saying, he effectively states...more
Racist, poorly researched tripe. This book was clearly written to be sensational and make a buck by being controversial. Poorly written book with a racist POV. Won't be reading any of her others.
A book written to stoke controversy and speak taboos. But carefully backed up with endless sociological research.

Although that won't stop professional grievance takers from criticizing it for its conclusion or even its existence. Which, ironically for them, is only going to sell more copies. There's a very simple thesis here cleverly told: superiority complex + social insecurity + discipline often equals success. And immigrant groups intrinsically tend towards these characteristics. Which, of co...more
Deborah Markus
“Certain groups do much better in America than others – as measured by income, occupational status, test scores, and so on,” Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld state bluntly in the introduction to The Triple Package. Why is that? And can we even discuss why without being a bunch of racist, anti-Semitic, eugenics-loving jerks?

I hope so. I think Chua and Rubenfeld do. I don’t know if their conclusions are scientifically sound – this isn’t my field – but I don’t think their book is offensive. It’s a fast,...more
The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America by Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld

"The Triple Package" presents a provocative thesis that when three distinct forces (the Triple Package) come together in a group's culture, they propel that group to disproportionate success. Thankfully, these forces or set of values/beliefs are accessible to anyone who choose to incorporate them into their lives. Yale Professors and best-selling authors, Chua and Ru...more
If not anything else, this book was interesting. I enjoyed the cultural aspects, learned a lot about different groups' attitudes and history, and I do agree with some of the premise of this book. What it all boils down to is your own personal definition of success. Do I admire people who go to great lengths to accomplish almost seemingly impossible things? Yes. Do I begrudge anyone for trying to make a better life for themselves or their family? Absolutely not. But my definition of success is no...more
Mar 21, 2014 Mof rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: society
So a Chinese women married to a Jewish guy figures out that the Chinese and the Jews are chosen races?
Great. My suggestion for her is to go to China, go to Israel, go to Nigeria or go to Cuba. There are smart people there, mediocre people there and rather dumb people there. Then come back and tell me there is a chosen race. There is something about stereotypes or heuristics or racism or whatever you want to call it. However it is far from a complete explanation of anything.
But it does help her...more
Christina Dudley
Rounding up from 4.5 stars.

I read this book in one afternoon. Not sure what the flap is about. The authors argue that conventionally "successful" ethnic/cultural groups share three characteristics: (1) a sense of pride/superiority, (2) a sense of INsecurity, and (3) impulse control ( ability to delay gratification).

As a child of Chinese immigrants (even tho' my mom was pretty mild about the whole Chinese thing--my tiger dad took off after the divorce), the discussion of the Chinese was true to...more
Margaret Sankey
Malcolm Gladwell is contagious. Here, using the standard best-selling formula, Chua, clearly smarting from criticisms of Tiger Mother, lays out three cultural characteristics her Yale Law seminar on "Law and Prosperity" isolated as making for American success--an innate belief in the specialness of your group (Cuban expats, Nigerian princes, Jews as the "chosen"), an individual drive born of family expectations and fear of persecution, and an upbringing stressing impulse-control and discipline....more
Did you know that the famous song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" from the Wizard of Oz was written by Isidore Hochberg and Harold Arlen (aka Hyman Arluck) both children of Jewish parents who had immigrated to the United States? The song lyrics reached deep into their immigrant Jewish consciousness.

In this book Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld reach into America's own immigrant consciousness and come to the conclusion that three characteristics exemplify the success of certain immigrant groups. They focu...more
May 24, 2014 Lisa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: book club
Chinese American Tiger Mom Amy Chua and husband Jed Rubenfeld team up to explore why some cultural groups achieve greater than average success in some easy to measure areas than other groups do. They believe that these groups have 3 factors in common: A) a sense of superiority B) and at the same time a sense of insecurity (socially?), and C) impulse control/self discipline.

So if you ingrain in your children, "You can do it; I know you can! But don't brag and think you are actually better than ot...more
Rachel Terry
I loved Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, and I probably would have liked The Triple Package more if I hadn't gone into it with such high and specific hopes. The premise of the book is that success in modern America depends on three traits: Superiority, Insecurity, and Impulse Control. This thesis is backed up by statistical and anecdotal data about 8 cultural groups. I'm not sure how Mormons were selected as a cultural group because all the other groups were ethnic groups. A religious gro...more

The basic premise of this book by "Tiger Mom" Amy Chua and her husband, both Yale professors, is laid out right on the back cover: America's most successful groups -- Asian and Nigerian immigrants, Mormons, Jews -- have three strong traits: a sense of group superiority, combined with a feeling that they need to prove that to the surrounding society (insecurity), all bundled with a willingness to defer gratification and work for the future.

Critics will undoubtedly say that the book underrates the...more
Aug 25, 2014 Joshua is currently reading it
I'm a personal fan of Amy Chua's previous book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, and I'm very interested in her and Rubenfeld's new book. Honestly, I'm quite shocked (but at the same time not surprised) that her book has already received such negative ratings despite the book not even being released for another month. (Don't judge a book by its cover, people!)

I can't wait to read this book and decide for myself whether it's good or not, and I challenge anyone else interested to do that as well....more
Daniel G.
This is the worst book I've read this year. To start with, of its 320 pages, only 225 are content. The rest is notes.

The book is poorly structured and poorly written. Let me summarise the content for you to spare you the need to read it: Certain ethnic groups outperform others in specific areas. Chua and Rubenfeld attribute this success to three traits: a superiority complex, insecurity and impulse control. While these same traits have drawbacks, they can help you succeed if you break free from...more
Basically, this book reads as a sequel to the ideas in "The Righteous Mind" by Jonathan Haidt. It discusses exactly what we are missing out on as a liberal society by dropping the value of "loyalty" or "in-group out-group" thinking.

Of course, the book focuses rather heavily on Jewish and Chinese examples given the nature of the authors. I expected the book to be much more balanced, but the other groups mentioned don't feature much. As a Mormon, I was hoping to see a bit more of us, but what was...more
In the latest book from "Tiger Mom," she lays out the theory of the Triple Package, 3 traits that are conducive to driving people to be successful: having a superiority complex, feeling inferior or looked down upon in society and having strong impulse control or discipline. Much of the press that this book has gotten has centered on the 8 cultural groups in America (Jews, Chinese, Indians, Mormons, Nigerians, Iranians, Cubans, Lebanese) that are highlighted as having the Triple Package (thereby...more
The premise of this book is that certain cultural groups (including my cultural group: Mormons) rise and achieve more in America because they possess three qualities: a belief in their superiority which is innate to their cultural or doctrinal self-perception, an inferiority complex/insecurity based on their lack of acceptance in mainstream American society, and impulse control. There's a lot to be said, pro and con, about this book, and maybe someday I'll get around to writing a separate blog e...more
I bought this book knowing it would challenge my views on culture, success, and the connection between the two. Despite almost putting it down after the introductory chapters, I found reading the book to be an enriching and worthwhile experience.

It is true Amy Chua, a law professor at Yale, has discovered, unsurprisingly, that sensational culture-war literature yields greater profits than legal texts. I did, after all, pay $30 for 225 pages and, truth be told, that font was not small. But whatev...more
The Triple Package

This book is absolutely fascinating, and takes the reader through vast landscapes and history. Each “cultural group” is analyzed from different perspectives, with abundant facts and examples. The book itself is 45% material with the rest of it being footnotes, to give you an idea of how thoroughly researched it is.

I really loved how the authors brought their analysis full circle by discussing how America used to be: infused with the spirit of the Protestant work ethic. This is...more
Jason Reese
I enjoyed this book thoroughly. I cannot remember the last time I read so many negative reviews of a book that the reviewers admitted they had not read. The research is extensive and compelling and the book is quite reader-friendly. I am certain this is a book I will read multiple times.
After reading Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom, I was quite interested to read this book, and I approached it with an interest in finding more ideas about how I could help raise my children. I quickly realized it is not specifically about children, it is a more general social psychology type book, but I am happy I read it anyway. In short, I thought the theory was interesting, it was easy to read and understand, I learned quite a bit about both their thesis and various cultures, and it ma...more
Pete Dematteo
This was an infuriating book, to say the least. I read a review about in New York City's Spanish newspaper, EL DIARIO, by a Maribel Hastings, who blasted the couple's book, with good reason. So I tried it but was equally as revolted and defensive, as well. I sensed an annoying self-righeousness on the authors' accounts. Of course there may be a time and place for generalizations amongst certain sections of the populace, but to purposely overlook other facets of some nationality or race is margin...more
Rachel Bayles
Gave me a better understanding of America, and of how group culture contributes to personal choices and behavior.
Terrible title, marginally less terrible book. In this book, husband and wife Jed Rubenfeld and Amy Chua outline why some cultural groups are particularly successful. That is, if you define success as being rich. They identify what they term as a 'triple package' (seriously, every time I read this phrase, I cringed, could they have not come up with something better?) - superiority, inferiority and self control - that characterise their examples of cultures that show superiority in modern America...more
I really didn't like this lady after reading the Tiger Mom book, but I have to say that this was a riveting read. She proposes that certain groups in the US are more successful than others because they emphasize 3 characteristics for their children. The three characteristics are: a sense of superiority combined with a bit of insecurity and also an ability to delay gratification. I belong to one of the groups she identifies and I really thought she did a good job of capturing a snapshot of my gro...more
Ahh, we are back with the controversial Amy Chua again (the author of the Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother). Once again, she gets readers all riled up with her claim that there are certain ethnic groups within America who have been successful b/c they have a “triple package” of traits which are beneficial to ensure economic success. (“Economic” is the key here, b/c of course there are many different types of success, a point which I wanted to ram down Amy Chua’s throat each time I was reading thi...more
Ken Rideout
Four stars for the originality (to me) of their ideas about the well documented achievement gaps between cultural groups. The books itself is a bit heavy on anecdote and, like many works of non fiction I find, could have easily been condensed into a nice essay.

The author's contention is that successful (as measured by economic means) cultural groups have three attributes and that these attributes run counter to the common American culture of today. They are:

1. They believe they are exceptional,...more
The premise - while American-born citizens are losing ground in living the American Dream, immigrants are achieving it in spades. The reason - American culture is losing its edge - insecurity, hard work and a sense of cultural superiority (in other words, something to live up to) are diminishing. (Well not all, that superiority thing still reigns large in the American psyche.)

The triple package of a sense of cultural superiority (be that religious or ethnic, insecurity and a very strong work et...more
The Triple Package is a collection of traits that,according to the authors, explains how certain cultural/ethnic/racial groups have attained a high level of success in the U.S. The traits are a sense of group superiority, a sense of insecurity, and impulse control. The exemplar groups include Mormons, Jews. Chinese Americans, Indian Americans and certain Iranian and Nigerian groups. This thesis is laid out in the first 25 pages, followed by another 200 pages of poorly organized and overlapping s...more
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Challenge - Identify Triple Package Cultures 2 6 Mar 25, 2014 04:40AM  
Followup to Tiger Mom 1 9 Jan 06, 2014 11:20PM  
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Amy L. Chua (born 1962) is the John M. Duff, Jr. Professor of Law at Yale Law School. She joined the Yale faculty in 2001 after teaching at Duke Law School. Prior to starting her teaching career, she was a corporate law associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. She specializes in the study of international business transactions, law and development, ethnic conflict, and globalization an...more
More about Amy Chua...
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance--and Why They Fall A Picture History of Singapore Grito de guerra da mãe-tigre

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“For most Americans, especially now, striving and insecurity are likely to be rewarded with more striving and insecurity; you can do everything right and still have little to show for it.” 0 likes
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