Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America” as Want to Read:
The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  1,439 Ratings  ·  283 Reviews
Yale Law School professors Chua (the Tiger Mom herself) and husband Rubenfeld argue that the triumph of certain cultural groups in America--e.g., Mormons in business and the highly paid Chinese Americans and Jews--results from three principles: members of such groups believe the group is exceptional, still feel they must prove themselves, and work for future goals instead ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by Penguin Press (first published February 1st 2014)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Triple Package, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Emily Gerlach It is about how cultures influence success, and the trends among the most successful cultures.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Deborah Markus
Mar 04, 2014 rated it liked it
“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,
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.
Feb 03, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Dec 04, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 21, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: society
So a Chinese woman 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
Rachel Terry
Apr 15, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sociology
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
Christina Dudley
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Margaret Sankey
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Jan 08, 2014 marked it as to-read
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.
Daniel Taylor
Apr 20, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
3 stars because this book was reasonably well-backed up with references (as observed in the endnotes). However, for a supposedly academic book, it was sensationalised with heavy cultural stereotypes and very presumptuous assumptions that make it less credible -- which is rather unfortunate because one would expect professors from Yale to be nothing less than credible and reliable.

Some assumptions I took issue with pertain to Chinese people, especially when the authors refer to Chinese outside of
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book puts forward the idea that a particular set of traits - a superiority complex, insecurity, and impulse control (collectively references as the "Triple Package") have propelled individuals in certain cultural groups to higher-than-average financial success. The reasoning makes a lot of sense, and there is a lot of statistical and anecdotal evidence to show that certain groups who have a higher percentage of people with this type of material success, do tend to have a higher likelihood t ...more
Pete Dematteo
May 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it

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
May 11, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Feb 19, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Jason Reese
Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Stuart Woolf
Feb 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Dharmendra Tolani
Oct 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Recently read this book. And I mostly agree with the negative reviews on the Wikipedia page. But here are few of my personal observations.

Just for introduction (from Wikipedia):

The central argument of the book is that the cultural groups that have "starkly outperforming" the rest in America possess three distinct traits. These virtues are the presence of a superiority complex, the simultaneous existence of an inferiority complex, and a marked capacity for impulse control.

As per the book, "India
Tensy MB
Jun 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Its almost shamefully indulgent to celebrate the small victories of your ethnicity. Here, Chua's controversial formula for the successful boil down to habits and motivations found more concentrated among a few cultural groups. Obviously, Jews dominate among a much broader set of categories than many of the other highlighted groups. Chua, believes other groups are on the rise but it doesn't appear that Jews cultural dominance will abruptly decline.

Because of my Mormon family, I read and enjoyed
Alicia Carlsen
Jun 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Books of this kind should be read with a grain of salt, knowing that some of the anecdotal "evidence" is just that, anecdotal. I can definitely see why people wouldn't like it as it is definitely not politically correct. I liked some of the points it was trying to bring to the front, especially the last chapter that talked about how our "self-esteem" model in America is causing us as a nation to lose the Triple Package characteristics and thus our traditional level of success.

The small part tha
Mar 19, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
Two stars is "liked it" and that is how I felt about this book. The authors have an interesting argument, that some groups in the US have a combination of character traits that lead to success, but if I wouldn't have been a part of one of those groups (Mormons), I would have felt that there were too many generalizations. Especially in the beginning, I felt like the book wasn't very organized. It kept jumping around and saying that it would go into this or that point later in the book (this feeli ...more
Michael Perry
Aug 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked it a lot. Very well written, a lot of interesting points, and a lot of interesting evidence.
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
What’s the secret of those accomplished, over-achieving demographics? Chua and Rubenfeld take a look and offer an explanation for this phenomenon. Essentially it comes down to three traits – superiority, insecurity, and impulse control – that account for the massive success (academic and economical, anyway). It’s a fascinating look at the “triple package” demographics and how their culture drives them to achievement. Chua has personal experience as an Asian American and Rubenfeld as a Jewish Ame ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Challenge - Identify Triple Package Cultures 2 14 Mar 24, 2014 08:40PM  
Followup to Tiger Mom 1 12 Jan 06, 2014 02:20PM  
  • A Chinaman's Chance: One Family's Journey and the Chinese American Dream
  • The Village Effect: Why Face-to-Face Contact Is Good for Our Health, Happiness, Learning, and Longevity
  • Numbersense: How to Use Big Data to Your Advantage
  • Age of Opportunity: Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence
  • American Progressivism: A Reader
  • Get-It-Done Guy's 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More
  • A People's Art History of the United States: 250 Years of Activist Art and Artists Working in Social Justice Movements
  • The Naked Capitalist
  • Einstein and Religion: Physics and Theology
  • Thunder from the East: Portrait of a Rising Asia
  • Drinking the Sea at Gaza: Days and Nights in a Land Under Siege
  • The XX Factor
  • Queer Theory, Gender Theory: An Instant Primer
  • Getting to 50/50: How Working Parents Can Have It All
  • Dismantling America: and other controversial essays
  • The Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Sixties Radicals Seized Control of the Democratic Party
  • Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life: A Psychologist Investigates How Evolution, Cognition, and Complexity are Revolutionizing our View of Human Nature
  • The Girl from Human Street: Ghosts of Memory in a Jewish Family
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...
“A life that doesn’t include hard-won accomplishment and triumph over obstacles may not be a satisfying one. There is something deeply fulfilling — even thrilling — in doing almost anything difficult extremely well. There is a joy and pride that come from pushing yourself to another level or across a new frontier. A life devoted only to the present — to feeling good in the now — is unlikely to deliver real fulfillment. The present moment by itself it too small, too hollow. We all need a future. Something beyond and greater than our own present gratification, at which to aim or feel we’ve contributed.” 1 likes
“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
More quotes…