Tiger Mom's Racial, Religious Superiority List in New Book Angers Many

Tuesday, 07 Jan 2014 03:16 PM

By Michael Mullins

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"Tiger Mom" author Amy Chua is back with a new book and another controversial claim that eight specific racial and religious groups are superior based on their ability to succeed in American society.

According to Chua's latest book titled "Triple Package: Why Groups Rise and Fall in America," which she co-authored with her husband Jed Rubenfeld, those inherently successful groups are:

  • Jewish
  • Indian
  • Chinese
  • Iranian
  • Lebanese-American
  • Nigerian
  • Cuban exiles
  • Mormon

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Chua does not name the inferior groups in her new book, though they are inferred by their omission from her Top 8 list, Forbes' Susan Adams points out.


"That certain groups do much better in America than others — as measured by income, occupational status, test scores and so on — is difficult to talk about," Chua and Rubenfeld wrote. "In large part, this is because the topic feels so racially charged."

Chua is careful not to base her assessment on genetics, rather she points to what she deems is a superior culture of the eight racial and religious groups that propels them to collective success in the U.S.

According to Chua, the superior culture stems from three traits shared by all eight groups, which are a superiority complex, insecurity, and impulse control.

"Mormons have recently risen to astonishing business success," the authors write. "Cubans in Miami climbed from poverty to prosperity in a generation. Nigerians earn doctorates at stunningly high rates. Indian and Chinese Americans have much higher incomes than other Americans; Jews may have the highest of all."

In her review of the new book, New York Post reporter Maureen Callahan noted how both Chua, who is Chinese-American, and her husband, who is Jewish, belong to the eight groups that they claim have superior cultures.

In her review, Callahan also pointed out that Chua and Rubenfeld failed to acknowledge that "immigrant groups tend to experience upward mobility in America until the third generation, and then, for reasons unknown, tend to level off."

"It’s interesting, too, that the authors either dismiss or outright ignore the large swaths of immigrant groups who built up this country — the English, Irish, Italians, Germans, Eastern Europeans," Callahan writes.

Chua similarly received a scathing review from the left-leaning Salon.com
, with the book review's headline reading "Tiger Mom is back with despicable new theory about racial superiority."

The "Tiger Mom" label is a reference to Chua's 2011 book "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother," through which she argued that the strict parenting habits of the Chinese were superior to what she perceived as the more laid back parenting of Western parents.

On Monday, the book's publisher, Penguin Press, expressed its support for Chua's book, releasing a statement that read, "We are proud to be publishing 'The Triple Package' in February and we look forward to a thoughtful discussion about the book and success in America."

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