Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is a treatise on parenting, a realistic and sometimes harsh portrait of what we as parents can choose to do in order to create “successful” children. Our author, Amy Chua, is the daughter of Chinese parents, and she wholeheartedly subscribes to the rote, obedience-based, sometimes-tyrannical model of Chinese Parenting. The book takes us through her life as the parent of two incredibly talented daughters, Sophia and Lulu.
Living in America as they do, Sophia and Lulu are very aware of how different their mother’s standards are compared to those of their peers’ parents. And, frankly, so is our author. She is brutally honest about how her methods differ from what she terms “Western Parenting,” but the truth is, she gets results. Her daughters have some incredible opportunities because their mother pushes them so (very very) hard.
Fast moving and very readable, this book really did make me think — about why I do things the way I do and how maybe the Chinese way does have some merit. Granted, some stories she tells are SERIOUSLY over the top, bordering on what we would probably call abusive. Yet I really appreciated how Chua doesn’t sugar-coat anything. I think her style of narrative, both engaging and humorous, made me try to understand her, and while I certainly don’t agree with a lot of what she did, I really liked reading about it.