‘Tiger Mom’ author Amy Chua sparks controversy with new book

Amy Chua, who rose to national prominence as the iron-fisted “Tiger Mom,” is attracting controversy over an upcoming book that claims some ethnic and religious groups are inherently more likely to succeed because of three specific traits.

“The Triple Package” has already drawn widespread outrage across social media outlets after an early review by the New York Post said the book uses “some specious stats and anecdotal evidence” to argue that eight specific groups are “just superior to others and everyone else is contributing to the downfall of America.”

Chua, a Chinese American law professor at Yale, wrote the book with her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, who is Jewish. The authors belong to two of the eight groups singled out.

The book highlights Jews, Indians, Chinese, Iranians, Lebanese-Americans, Nigerians, Cuban exiles and Mormons as groups with three qualities that set them apart. A superiority complex, insecurity and impulse control are the “three cultural forces” driving these groups to achieve a disproportionate amount of success, the authors suggest. 

“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. In large part, this is because the topic feels so racially charged,” the authors write in their introduction. 

However, they go on to note that “the Triple Package is accessible to anyone. “It’s a set of values and beliefs, habits and practices, that individuals from any background can make a part of their lives or their children’s lives, enabling them to pursue success as they define it.”

The Post’s review immediately sparked a firestorm of criticism directed at Chua. 

“Tiger Mom is back with despicable new theory about racial superiority,” read Salon’s headline on the issue.

Chua’s publisher, Penguin Press, released a statement Monday citing praise from early industry reviews, and reiterated its support for the book.

“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,” the statement read.

The Internet reaction was just as fierce when Chua released her last controversial book, the parenting memoir, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” which suggested that Chinese mothers tend to raise more successful children because of strict, cultural tendencies.