The Atlantic

Notes of a Native Tiger Son, Part 2

Breaking down the reasons why Amy Chua's controversial book has sparked so much debate
Source: NIRANJAN SHRESTHA / AP

This post was written by Oliver Wang, who was guest-blogging for Ta-Nehisi Coates.


As I began to describe yesterday, my first reaction to Chua-gate was quite personal and premised in a specifically Asian-American context. But after I tampered down my inner mommy issues, I started to notice: hey ... I get why I care about this...and why other Asian-Americans care...but why does everyone else seem to give a damn?

Seriously, it's been stunning to see how much coverage this book has gotten. When's the last time anyone can remember this much interest in a parenting memoir not written by a celebrity? It's not like Sarah Palin decided to pen Raising Real Americans: Lessons From a Mama Grizzly or anything.

The intention of my first post, before I sidetracked myself, was to probe how Chua's book (and to be more precise, that "extract"has become such a flashpoint in mainstream media (not to mention #4 and rising on Amazon.com). What I'm trying to break down here isn't any single answer, but rather, I'd surmise what we have is heady potpourri of different forces.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic5 min readScience
The Fraught Effort To Return To The Moon
NASA wants to put people back on the lunar surface in 2024, but it doesn’t have the budget.
The Atlantic8 min readPolitics
The Nationalists Take Washington
Prominent figures from Tucker Carlson to John Bolton gathered at the Ritz-Carlton to declare war on the conservative establishment and lay the groundwork for a new intellectual movement on the right.
The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
The Financial Calamity That Is the Teaching Profession
Teachers are suing the government over debt relief that never came—but their financial problems go much deeper than student loans.