Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Sheathed Claws of the Tiger Mother

Whoa: Amy Chua is selling a rather large stack of books. I don’t need a crystal ball to be reporting that. All anyone has to do is stroll through the blogosphere or check on Twitter trends to see that law professor Chua’s new book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (Penguin) is making people mad enough to throw things. Are they throwing Chua’s book? Some of them are angry enough that it seems possible they are. But even that could help book sales. After all, you have to buy a book before you can throw it.

The cause for all this vitriol is the the very foundation of Chua’s book: she compares American and Chinese parenting styles. And it’s not really that people are surprised that, in Chua’s view, the west comes up wanting, rather Chua feels she has been greatly misunderstood. From The Huffington Post:
When Amy Chua published a list of things her children "were never allowed to do" growing up, including "attend a sleepover," "watch TV or play computer games," and "get any grade less than an A," in The Wall Street Journal on January 8, the Yale Law professor and author ignited a firestorm of controversy from bloggers, newspaper columnists and, of course, parents across the country. The rules were excerpted from her forthcoming book "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother," which describes her journey as a Chinese-American mother.
HuffPo puts together a list of angry responders here. And, if you’re so inclined, the Wall Street Journal excerpt that started the whole thing is here.



Anonymous Davina Morgan-Witts (BookBrowse Editor) said...

Firstly, thanks to Linda for a continuous stream of great posts - you do a great job keeping us in touch with the book world! As anyone who's followed the discourse on Tiger Mother knows, the excerpt the WSJ ran was controversial, but it was also somewhat out of context with the actual book. With this in mind you mind find these 20+ reader reviews at BookBrowse, written by people who've read the book not just the article, to be more balanced!

Also, there's a clarifying response from the author here:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 9:50:00 AM PST  

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