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The Triple Package: Why Groups Rise and Fall in America Audio CD – Audiobook, February 4, 2014


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio; Unabridged edition (February 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611762464
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611762464
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #461,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.”
 
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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.

More About the Authors

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Customer Reviews

Then sit down and read the book.
Meat Grinder
Claims of Racism: First, let me begin by stating that "The Triple Package" is NOT a racist book as portrayed by the media.
The Agnostic Apatheist
The material is well documented, factually/data based, and presents a very good, believable argument.
Rich

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

193 of 213 people found the following review helpful By The Agnostic Apatheist on February 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Synopsis:
"The Triple Package" is an attempt by Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld to explain the economic success of certain ethnic groups. Their thesis is that the economic success of these groups can be adequately explained by three cultural traits (NOT genetic or racial characteristics). These three traits are a superiority complex, a sense of insecurity, and impulse control. The authors focus on the following successful groups: Indian, Iranian, Lebanese, Nigerian, Cuban, Chinese, Mormons, and Jews. They contrast these groups from African Americans, Hispanics, and the general American population.

Claims of Racism:
First, let me begin by stating that "The Triple Package" is NOT a racist book as portrayed by the media. Nor is it a "semi-racist" book as one reviewer put it. At no place in the book do the authors assert that certain racial or ethnic groups are intrinsically superior - although they do claim that successful ethnic groups may view themselves as superior or privileged in some way. Nor do the authors assert that certain racial or ethnic groups are intrinsically inferior to another group. In fact, the authors explicitly claim that key cultural features explain a group's economic success, and that such success is not the result of genetics or any inherent racial or ethnic characteristic. Thus, anyone who states that the authors are making racist claims - i.e. asserting the inherent racial superiority (or inferiority) of one group over another -- has simply not read the book or has severe difficulties with simple reading comprehension.

Second, many of the negative reviewers seem to dismiss the empirical information the authors present. That is, it is an empirical fact that many immigrant groups tend to achieve high levels of economic success in America.
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156 of 186 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on February 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Why do some rise from humble beginnings to great achievements, while many others don't? Finally, we get someone with credibility to expose the elephant in the room - the fact that some cultures are far more successful in fostering academic achievement than others. Granted, academic achievement is far from being the sole determinant of success, no matter how you might define that term, but it certainly is key ingredient to STEM success, as well as having the opportunity and ability to launch a Silicon Valley startup - talents we're sorely lacking vs. many of our Asian competitors. Obvious 'more successful' cultures - those of Chinese/Japanese/South Korean (Confucianism followers) origin, as well as others with significant Jewish heritage - plain as day to all of us high-school students decades ago. Authors Chua/Rubenfeld also add several other groups, including Indian-Americans. Indian-American pupils have won the Scripps National Spelling Bee 11 out of the last 15 years, including the last six years straight.

More specifics: Of the 141 U.S. Presidential Scholars in 2012, 48 were Asian Americans (52 in 2011) - mostly Chinese and Indian. Asian-American SAT scores average 143 points of the U.S. average - including 63 points over whites, and that gap is increasing. While just 5% of the population, they comprise 19% of the undergraduates at Harvard, 16% at Yale, 19% at Princeton, 19% at Stanford, and many suspect there's a 'glass ceiling' that limits their admissions below what they would be based on National Merit Scholarships and SAT scores. Intel Science Talent Searches over the last five years have picked 23 Asian-Americans (mostly Indian and Chinese) of the top 50. Asians and Asian-Americans represent 30-50% of enrollees in leading U.S.
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76 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Admiral Wen on February 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover
People love to paint arguments that they don't like as racist or culturally supremacist. I challenge those who are skeptical to read the entire book and judge it based on what's within its pages, rather than what the media is portraying the author to be. Chua certainly could have put her argument more tactfully, and I believe she should have. But her underlying points are sound. I'll try to explain.

No doubt many critics will attack Chua and Rubenfeld for a narrow definition of success. While it's true that "success" is defined in different ways by different people, that's not the point of this book. Chua and Rubenfeld readily acknowledge that academic achievement and high income don't automatically indicate success, that a fulfilling life has many more aspects than a prestigious school or career. The authors are sparking a much-needed conversation about culture and education, about child raising, and yes, about how the differences in these things across ethic divides can have profound effects on future generations and on this country as a whole.

Chua says the three traits are "superiority", "insecurity", and "impulse control". Her choice of words here can no doubt be better, but once again it's the underlying premise that we should be considering. In a way, Chua is saying that we should check our self-esteem with modesty, continuously seek to learn and improve, and balance daily gratification with long-term investment. The "Triple Package", whether you believe in the term or not, are traits that can be attained by all people for their own individual definitions of success, not just to pursue academic success.
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