Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pondering About Amy Chua's Tiger Mother Book and Her Ideas

BookTV is re-running interviews with Amy Chua on her first two books which are about economics and finance. The country is abuzz with discussions of her latest book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. I am SO disapointed that BookTV has no scheduling for her new book and intend to contact C-SPAN about this today. I'd told them in the past we need more about parenting, education, alternative education, and health issues (i.e. Autism in children). So far this seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

I reacted strongly after reading the Wall Street Journal article "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior". I pre-ordered the book immediately dying to know what Chua had to say. Here is my blog post dated January 9 which was two days before the book was released: My Reactions to One Chinese Mother's Thoughts on Mothering and Education.

I tore through the book starting the night it arrived (delayed by UPS due to a snowstorm). I finished it twelve days ago and have been pondering on the book. I have purposefully refrained from blogging about it so far. I had thought I'd write an Amazon customer review but reviewers are really getting slammed there and I'm not in the mood to be bashed.

I have mixed feelings about the whole situation. On the one hand the book should be judged as a book. It's a memoir not a parenting advice book. On the other hand people are forming opinions having not even read the book or hearing small pieces of information on a TV interview or in a print article. The crafting of interviews or the editing done in articles can pursuade the reader or viewer toward one opinion.

Any book review should critique the book for what it is: a memoir. I have resisted writing a review (but am almost ready to) because people are using what is supposed to be a book review to discuss larger parenting topics or even the topic of child abuse. Those topics should be discussed and I wish they were topics that Americans spoke about more frequently. However I fear if I try to write a level-headed and diplomatic book review I'll be bashed for not having major knee-jerk negative, judgemental reactions because Chua's mothering style and mine differ, although we agree on some of the major end goals.

After watching Amy Chua discuss world markets and economics on a 2002 interview with Brian Lamb on BookTV last night about her book, World on Fire, I'm having trouble accepting that the articulate, smart, soft-spoken, attractive woman is the same person as Tiger Mother who used cruel verbal assaults (among other things) on her young daughters to push them to highly achieve playing muscial instruments.

I need to wrap my mind around this a bit more before I dive into writing my book review of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Thanks so much for this post. I've heard a lot about this book and have read a few articles online. After reading your post I feel that I am in the right frame of mind to read this book. It's a memoir, not a how to book. These books are often my favorite to read for "advice". They cause me to think deeper rather than just consume information... if that makes sense. Thanks again for your bravery in even mentioning the book. LOL