Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother — A Book Review and Commentary

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. By Amy Chua. The Penguin Press. Buy Here From Amazon

After reading Yale Law professor Amy Chua’s provocatively titled article, “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior,” in the Wall Street Journal, I not only instantly ordered her memoir, but I knew it was destined to become an instantaneous New York Times bestseller.

Even though Professor Chua lucidly articulated her fundamental points in the article, as with most things controversial, people felt it necessary to mischaracterize her assertions to undermine her arguments. The most common lamebrained criticism of Professor Chua came from people who insisted that she is racist due to her “making a claim about parenting superiority based on race.”

Even if this were Professor Chua’s actual argument, it would be a stretch to call it racist. However, in a society with rabble-rousing racial opportunists, it is no surprise that every fleeting mention of race is construed as intolerable racism. What’s comical, however, is that isn’t her argument, at all. Professor Chua clearly states in the piece that she is using the terms “Chinese” and “Western” loosely. She argues that it is entirely possible, albeit rare, to have Western parents who are “Chinese” parents, and in the same way, it is possible to have Chinese parents who are “Western” parents. If her fire-breathing detractors even bothered to read just a sentence past the controversial list in her article, it would have been entirely apparent that she wasn’t making a point based on race.

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