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The Triple Package: Why Groups Rise and Fall in America | [Amy Chua, Jed Rubenfeld]

The Triple Package: Why Groups Rise and Fall in America

It may be taboo to say, but some groups in America do better than others. Mormons have recently risen to astonishing business success. Cubans in Miami climbed from poverty to prosperity in a generation. Nigerians earn doctorates at stunningly high rates. Indian and Chinese Americans have much higher incomes than other Americans; Jews may have the highest of all. Why do some groups rise? Drawing on groundbreaking original research and startling statistics, The Triple Package uncovers the secret to their success.
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Publisher's Summary

It may be taboo to say, but some groups in America do better than others. Mormons have recently risen to astonishing business success. Cubans in Miami climbed from poverty to prosperity in a generation. Nigerians earn doctorates at stunningly high rates. Indian and Chinese Americans have much higher incomes than other Americans; Jews may have the highest of all.

Why do some groups rise? Drawing on groundbreaking original research and startling statistics, The Triple Package uncovers the secret to their success. A superiority complex, insecurity, impulse control - these are the elements of the Triple Package, the rare and potent cultural constellation that drives disproportionate group success. The Triple Package is open to anyone. America itself was once a triple-package culture. It's been losing that edge for a long time now. Even as headlines proclaim the death of upward mobility in America, the truth is that the old-fashioned American Dream is very much alive - but some groups have a cultural edge, which enables them to take advantage of opportunity far more than others.

  • Americans are taught that everyone is equal, that no group is superior to another. But remarkably, all of America’s most successful groups believe (even if they don’t say so aloud) that they’re exceptional, chosen, superior in some way.
  • Americans are taught that self-esteem - feeling good about yourself - is the key to a successful life. But in all of America’s most successful groups, people tend to feel insecure, inadequate, that they have to prove themselves.
  • America today spreads a message of immediate gratification, living for the moment. But all of America’s most successful groups cultivate heightened discipline and impulse control.

But the triple package has a dark underside too. Each of its elements carries distinctive pathologies; when taken to an extreme, they can have truly toxic effects. Should people strive for the triple package? Should America? Ultimately, the authors conclude that the triple package is a ladder that should be climbed and then kicked away, drawing on its power but breaking free from its constraints.

©2014 Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld (P)2014 Penguin Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"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." (Publishers Weekly)

"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." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (81 )
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  •  
    CBlox Las Vegas, NV 02-07-14
    CBlox Las Vegas, NV 02-07-14 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Triple Thumbs Up!!"

    This book is a must listen for anyone who wants insights into what makes some people and cultures successful. It is intended to be provacative and politically iccorrect which is why I appreciated and enjoyed it. Amy Chua and Jeb Rubenfiled backup most every idea with hard statistics which support each conclusion they present and they do it in an entertaining manner.

    Some of the successful cultures presented werent suprising such as Jews and chinese-americans but i wasnt expecting to hear about the success of Cuban-Americans and Nigerians.

    My only criticism would be in the narration. I feel the subject matter could have landed better with a bit more sharper stronger voice. The narration is a little soft in my opinion.

    If this review helped you, please check YES below. Thanks!

    20 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Keller, TX, United States 02-14-14
    John Keller, TX, United States 02-14-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Absolutely Fascinating!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Triple Package to be better than the print version?

    sure


    What other book might you compare The Triple Package to and why?

    This is not a great comparison, but, I consider my experience listening to this book similar to the experience I had with Samuel Huntington's 'Clash of Civilizations.'


    What does Jonathan Todd Ross bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Very clear narration that fit the tone of the book.


    If you could give The Triple Package a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Comically speaking: "why you wish you were Jewish or Mormon.'
    On a more serious note: "The American Dream of upward mobility is alive and well."


    Any additional comments?

    This book was sincerely thought provoking. If you are a millennial like myself I highly suggest listening to this book. This book was refreshingly honest about cultural qualities in a way that was not pandering to stereo type yet openly addressed observable qualities of various cultural groups in America.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas United States 03-20-14
    Douglas United States 03-20-14 Member Since 2003

    Urgyen Menla

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Speculative ending"

    Mostly, I found this book worthwhile reading, and I'm glad I read (listened to) it.

    Well researched points made throughout, until the end, whereat the authors speculated and came to conclusions with no research foundation. So, in a jarring way, the last chapter didn't mesh well with the rest of the book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P 06-17-14
    P 06-17-14 Member Since 2014
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    9
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    "Good, but nothing spectacular"
    What made the experience of listening to The Triple Package the most enjoyable?

    The person reading the book did a good job. His voice was not annoying or overly dramatic.


    What other book might you compare The Triple Package to and why?

    None.


    What about Jonathan Todd Ross’s performance did you like?

    He gave just enough fluctuations in his voice to be appropriate, but not so much that it was annoying as I have found with others doing the voicing for audio books.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The story of what makes some groups highly successful in America.


    Any additional comments?

    This book had some interesting insights, however the information is not all that surprising or shocking. Most people in America are not shocked to know that Jews, Indian Americans, and Asians are highly successful. Perhaps the reasons for that success are surprising to some but to me it seemed somewhat intuitive. The book briefly touches upon groups or sub-groups that have not had great success, but is careful not to insult those groups. Rather, the authors offer their view on how those groups have not managed to experience success. As with pretty much any book which deals with the psychological, a certain degree of interpretation of data and opinion is inserted into this book. This was an interesting read but not a must-read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eli New York 05-16-14
    Eli New York 05-16-14 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "interesting, but not life changing"

    interesting and entertaining theory. much of it makes sense in a macro view, I can see why some people might get worked up over some of the ideas in the book. Form your own decisions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BryinSiam Khon Kaen, Thailand 04-12-14
    BryinSiam Khon Kaen, Thailand 04-12-14 Member Since 2010

    Listen while I work, ride, drive & run.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Writing driven by presuppositions."
    What would have made The Triple Package better?

    A more rigorous treatment of scientific (sociological) literature.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld again?

    No.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Jonathan Todd Ross’s performances?

    Can't say.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Triple Package?

    I am an editor and I would have sent the manuscript back to the authors for a complete rewrite.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam P. Chicago, USA 02-17-14
    Sam P. Chicago, USA 02-17-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Good Book, however the last 3 hours were dry"
    Where does The Triple Package rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I've only listened to around 5 audiobooks so far, I would rank The Triple Package one of the top threes.


    Any additional comments?

    The ideas of the book are quite simple, thus the last 3 hours are kind of repetitive and not as interesting as the first few hours. Overall a great book to listen to.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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