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The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America Hardcover – Feb 4 2014

3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Press (Feb. 4 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594205469
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594205460
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.9 x 24.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #137,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed):
“In their provocative new book, Chua (Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother) and Rubenfeld (The Interpretation of Murder)—Yale Law professors and spouses—show why certain groups in the U.S. perform better than others. According to the authors, three traits breed success: a superiority complex, insecurity, and impulse control. Only when this ‘Triple Package’ comes together does it ‘generate drive, grit, and systematic disproportionate group success.’ Supported by statistics and original research….This comprehensive, lucid sociological study balances its findings with a probing look at the downsides of the triple package—the burden of carrying a family’s expectations, and deep insecurities that come at a psychological price.”

Kirkus Reviews:
“Husband and wife professors at Yale Law School explore why some cultural groups in the United States are generally more successful than others. Chua and Rubenfeld argue that each of these groups is endowed with a “triple package” of values that together make for a potent engine driving members to high rates of success….[and] that the U.S. was originally a triple-package nation. However, while Americans still view their country as exceptional, in the last 30 years, the other two parts of the package have gone out the window, replaced by a popular culture that values egalitarianism, self-esteem and instant gratification, creating a vacuum for more motivated groups to fill. On a highly touchy subject, the authors tread carefully, backing their assertions with copious notes. Though coolly and cogently argued, this book is bound to be the spark for many potentially heated discussions.”

National Review Online:
“Thinkers like Chua and Rubenfeld do us a service by reaching beyond the limits of what we can quantify.”
 
J.D. Vance, National Review Online:
“Their book is a sometimes funny, sometimes academic, and always interesting study of the cultural traits that make some groups outperform others in America. . . . the book asks a very important question: why are some of us doing so much better (or worse) than others? . . . I’m not sure that Chua and Rubenfeld have all the right answers. But I do know that by focusing on people—and the cultures that support and affect them—they’re asking the right questions. That’s more than I can say for most of the social policy experts occupying the airwaves today.”
 
Logan Beirne, FoxNews.com:
“Filled with surprising statistics and sociological research. . . .From the nation’s start, Washington and the Founders believed that hard work and sacrifice meant success for the future. This was the start of the American dream. ‘Triple Package’ contends that success is driven not by inborn biology, but is instead propelled by qualities that can be cultivated by all Americans. The book serves as an opportunity to discuss what has helped drive America’s triumphs in the past – and how we might harness this knowledge for our future.
 
Elle:
“The book meticulously documents that a variety of subgroups—Chinese, Mormons, Jews, Iranians, Indians, and Nigerians, among others—are higher-achieving than the average American; its 182 pages of text come with more than 100 pages of supporting notes. In analyzing how these groups, all of which identify as outsiders in some way, have done so well, the authors suggest that all Americans might profit from emulating these ‘model minorities.’”
 
David B. Green, Haaretz (Israel):
“Their book is not racist. For one thing, they are drawing a correlation between success and certain psychological attitudes, not congenital characteristics. They also go out of their way to say that the Triple Package, or the material success it can help people attain, is no guarantee of happiness, and they give plenty of examples of the psychological damage it can do. Even more significantly, there’s no doubt that attitudes – and performance – can and do change over time. . . .As a reader, I enjoyed the extensively sourced statistics and anecdotes that provide the basis for Chua and Rubenfeld’s argument, and was not especially troubled by the fact that “The Triple Package” is not an academic book. For me, its main value is found in the final chapter, in which the authors examine where America has gone wrong.
 
Business Traveller (UK):
“The titles of these forces explain what they are clearly enough, although the detail is intriguing. As you'd expect, it's the individuals who have emerged from these groups that provide the best stories, however. . . .Interestingly, the authors are nuanced on what constitutes "success" and point out that there is a dark underside to the ‘advantages’ that those in these groups ‘enjoy’. . . .It's hard to argue with the quantative and qualitative data amassed here… By and large, successful people are very ambitious, and don't mind you knowing the fact (they also often invite you to celebrate their success). The authors are very good in their descriptions of this sort of ego. It is also an enjoyable read, and one which really should not be criticised for the wrong reasons. I think many will nod in agreement. . . .a dose of common sense, rather like Amy Chua's previous book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.”
 
Kavaree Bamzai, India Today:
“[the book] is implicitly critical of America's instant gratification disorder, and highlights the death of upward mobility among Americans. . . . The Triple Package is both a self-affirming anthem for those who need it as well as an anthropological exercise to understand what is going wrong with post-millenial America.”
 
Will Pavia, The Times (UK):
The Triple Package is backed up with reams of research and qualifications. They tiptoe mirthlessly over cultural egg shells yet still manage to stir up controversy."
 
Katie Roiphe, Financial Times (UK):
“Chua and Rubenfeld’s explosive new meditation on success, The Triple Package, has already begun to enrage people, even those who, by their own admission, haven’t read it but have simply heard about how shocking it is.”
 
The Independent (UK):
“The book is not racist – it is well-written; seductive.”
 
Matthew Syed, The Times (UK), Book of the Week:
“One of the most controversial books of recent years ... the authors are to be commended for dealing with a controversial subject, and for revealing some deep truths. It deserves a wide audience.”
 
Emma Brockes, The Guardian (UK):
“A lot to find interesting ... They draw on eye-opening studies of the influence of stereotypes and expectations on various ethnic and cultural groups ... The authors’ willingness to pursue an intellectual inquiry that others wouldn’t is bracing.”
 
Jenni Russell, Sunday Times (UK):
Provocative ... If you care at all about the social pressures underpinning success and failure, or relish fresh perspectives on how societies really work, you will want to read this.”
 
Allison Pearson, Daily Telegraph (UK):
“The authors have already been accused of racism, mostly by people who haven’t read the book ... Powerful, passionate and very entertaining.”
 

About the Author

Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld are professors at Yale Law School. Chua, one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2011, is the author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, which unleashed a firestorm debate about the cultural value of self-discipline, as well as the bestselling World on Fire. Rubenfeld examined the political dangers of “living in the moment” in Freedom and Time; he is also the author of the international bestseller The Interpretation of Murder.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
DANG! The secret is OUT! Now mediocrity can with some effort rise to a higher level! But, there is a silvery lining to that cynical dark cloud! Perhaps society as we know it, would generally improve unless the currently better suited improve in tandem, maintaining the interval (ceiling to floor interval!) as constant and the society as a whole improves... as a consequence...?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As promised, but not delivered, there is no evidence of original research and no provision of the methods and results of proper statistical techniques. First, this seems to be an extension of decades of research on national culture (cf. Hofstede, GLOBE) and more recently cultural intelligence (cf. the business cultural intelligence score (BCIQ)). Disappointingly, there is no tie-in to this abundant research. Second, no data is provided or a description of the studies (source, method, sample...), only a pick and choose inclusion of basic descriptive statistics to further the authors' thesis. This does not pass muster.

However, it is well written and an easy read and may educate the general audience on the influence of culture in today's business environment. That is why you get one more star.
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By John M. Ford TOP 100 REVIEWER on June 23 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This book begins with the question of who is successful in America. The answer is not a list of individuals who have accumulated wealth, achievements, or fame. Instead the authors focus on groups whose members measure above average in business and other forms of “…material, conventional, prestige-oriented success.” These cultural groups are defined similarly: “…their members tend to be raised with, identify themselves by, and pass down certain culturally specific values and beliefs, habits and practices.” America’s most successful groups include Mormons; immigrants from Cuba, Nigeria, India, China, Iran, and Lebanon; and Jews.

These groups are not genetically superior or recipients of unfair advantages, argue authors Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld. They share three cultural characteristics the authors call “The Triple Package.” Members of each group have a Superiority Complex, “…a deeply internalized belief in your group’s specialness, exceptionality, or superiority.” Members of successful groups are characterized by Insecurity, “…a species of discontent—an anxious uncertainty about your worth or place in society, a feeling or worry that you or what you’ve done or what you have is in some fundamental way not good enough.” Finally, these cultural subgroups value Impulse Control, “…the ability to resist temptation, especially the temptation to give up in the face of hardship or quit instead of persevering at a difficult task.”

Triple Package values run counter to three strong currents in contemporary American culture. Rather than regarding any person or culture as Superior to any other, Americans shy away from comparative judgments.
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