Jeff Raymond's Reviews > Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua
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's review
Jan 27, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: books-i-own, read-education-parenting, read-biography-memoirs

This is one of those topics that I wish I had more cultural knowledge going in. The book, as made evident by the press that surrounded this around the time of publication, is essentially about Chinese parenting and the cultural differences in parenting between East and West. Amy Chua, convinced that the Chinese way is best, details how she has raised her children as a Chinese mother, and how that went with her two daughters.

I feel like I missed some key points simply because I come from that Western mold (although I had parents with lofty expectations as well, they were much more open to exploration and such than Chua ever would be). With that said, there was a lot of solid cultural insight that did not come across as forced or overwrought as we sometimes see in these sorts of books, and the story itself is concise and interesting enough to have kept me engaged and interested throughout.

The benefits, however, are also the flaws. The book is written in a very matter-of-fact way, which doesn't really work for what is, at its core, a story. The lack of sufficient cultural context didn't help matters for me either, and the story itself somewhat jumps all over the place. Even in a short book like this, there was a lot of seemingly irrelevant sidebars.

Not the greatest thing, or even as interesting as presented, but still worthwhile in some ways. I'm glad I didn't rush this one to the top of my list as I originally intended, but I'm ultimately glad I didn't ignore it, either.

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