Book Club meeting – 16th Jan

The Book club is meeting at the Prince of Wales to discuss the book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua. Below are the questions we will be discussing on the evening. See you there?

All decent parents want to do what’s best for their children. What Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother reveals is that the Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that. Western parents try to respect their children’s individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions and providing a nurturing environment. The Chinese believe that the best way to protect your children is by preparing them for the future and arming them with skills, strong work habits, and inner confidence. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother chronicles Chua’s iron-willed decision to raise her daughters, Sophia and Lulu, her way—the Chinese way—and the remarkable results her choice inspires.

  1. What is your overall reaction to Battle Hymn of the Mother Tiger?  Are you appalled or impressed, in agreement, disagreement…or something else?
  • What do you think Amy Chua’s motive to write this book might be?
  • Are Western parents too soft on, or too permissive toward, their children? Does Amy Chua offer an alternative parenting model?
  • Consider whether Chua’s children are such extraordinarily high achievers (musically and academically) because of their strict upbringing…or because of their innate abilities, i.e., genetics?
  • Do you agree or disagree with Chua’s criticisms of various aspects of Western culture—Facebook and junk food being two examples?
  • Part of Chua’s rationale is that she understands what all Chinese parents understand: “that nothing is fun until you’re good at it.” Do you agree?
  • What role does Chua’s husband, Jed, play in all this? What should his role have been?
  • How did her sister’s illness change Chua’s views on life?
  • How, eventually, is Chua “humbled” by her daughters—in what way do they prove wiser than their mother? Is, in fact, Chua truly humbled by Lulu? Does she have a genuine awakening?
  1. Many reviewers talked about laughing out loud. What sections do you find especially funny, even hilarious, if any?
  1. What do you predict for Chua’s daughters? Do you think they will raise their children with the same strict standards their mother applied to them?

Amy L. Chua 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 and the law. She is widely known for her parenting memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (2011), and The Triple Package (2014), co-authored with her husband Jed Rubenfeld.