Saturday, February 26, 2011

Batte Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua

I read this because one of my upcoming podcasts is going to be about the Tiger Mother phenom that is taking over the country AND because one of my co-workers went to Yale Law, where Ms. Chua and her husband both teach.  I really enjoyed this book, even though I may not subscribe to her parenting style wholeheartedly (but that's for the next podcast!).

This book is actually a mommy memoir - which I think gets lost in the shuffle of the hoopla that has surrounded this book.  In it Chua tells of her struggle to raise her children in the traditional "chinese" way while living in the United States and, specifically, in a culture that seems to espouse what she calls "Western" syle parenting, in which children seem to have all the flexibility that they want without all the discipline. This isn't a parenting guide - Ms. Chua doesn't tell one how to be a "tiger mom."

I respect Ms. Chua's complete and utter honesty in writing this book. She really put herself out there for all the world to see and to talk about and to criticize or take pot shots at. It takes great courage to really put yourself out there the way that she did, because she must have known that this book would be controversial; how could an intelligent woman like her not know that?  What I also really appreciated about this book was it's read-ability.  Ms. Chua is a very good writer and a very good storyteller. The stories that she tells evoke such poignant images that it's almost as if you're there, witnessing the events that she tells from the concerts and lessons to the fight in Russia.

I really enjoyed reading this book - what I think about the style that she espouses must be left for a different day!

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