Many of you will remember a highly controversial article on parenting style in The Wall Street Journal a couple of years ago written by Chinese American Amy Chua. You know, the one whose children have never been allowed a playdate, a sleepover or to get any grade less than an A; who practise their instruments three hours a day and are perfect on all quantifiable dimensions.
Well, she is back, this time in the company of her husband, fellow Yale Law School professor, Jeb Rubenfeld. Together they have written The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America, a book which seeks to explain why certain ‘cultural groups’ (read ethnic or religious groups) in America do so much better than others.
Chua and Rubenfeld have basically decided that there are three main (YES, three!) reasons that some individuals outperform others in America: a superiority complex (a deep-seated belief that you can do better than others), insecurity (a belief that you haven’t yet done your best) and impulse control (self-discipline). Needless to say, the book has stirred up some controversy in America.
Just reading the blurb on this book sent shivers down my spine, not to mention looking at the photo! I am sure their unsympathetic image is part of the publisher’s marketing campaign, which makes it even worse. But it obviously works, look at me, I am writing about it! I will try to read this book, if I can stomach it, and let you know.