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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • CBlox
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • 02-07-14

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 24 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • Keller, TX, United States
  • 02-14-14

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

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Progressivism in disguise...

The authors are too steeped in progressive orthodoxy to fully explore this subject. The premise is interesting, but the authors attempt to make groups fit into the "Triple Package".

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great pop-psych, not so sure of ology part

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and makes a great audiobook, and I'm sure there are kernels of truth to the thesis, but you can tell they really cherry picked their data.

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This articulates my Mormon and Armenian upbringing.

Why did such a well researched book need to include the F word so many times? What were you thinking Harvard grad?
The phrase "the triple package" is used far too frequently throughout each paragraph. The second edition should simply say "the package".
The second edition should include the
Second generation of "Depression kids".

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Fascinating premise

I think this is a book we should all be required to read and ponder. It is enlightening and insightful. I am not a Ph.D. and so will not attempt to judge the merit of the research and conclusions but it is hard to argue with the facts as they are presented here.

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  • Alicia
  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • 10-28-15

Compelling argument

Not as easy to read as Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother but more informative and evidence based. A good argument for pushing kids to achieve. I did find the use of the phrase "triple package" a bit repetitive.

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Eye opening

What did you like best about this story?

very motivating and uplifting.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. i savor listening to it over 1 week's time in the gym, driving and grocery shopping.

Any additional comments?

The last chapter confirmed many of the ideas I have formed in my head about the decline of America and how Americans have participated / cooperated in giving their lives away to sloth. I am glad I heard this book. It was very applicable to my own immigrant family and have recommended it highly to many individuals

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  • Jim Fuqua
  • Hendersonville, TN United States
  • 02-15-15

What brings wealth?

This book is about why some groups of people in the USA succeed in obtaining wealth, comfort and status while other groups with similar opportunities fail.

It has something that will offend everyone. I have not looked at the other reviews, but expect they have a high level of controversy.

This book is so controversial in many statements that the authors cite multiple scientific and statistical studies to support their arguments.

The methods which the groups discussed use to achieve success are simple but, difficult. The successful groups work harder than average and demand of their children that the children work harder than average. The authors cite multiple groups and describe their methods.

Sometimes the truth hurts. We can learn from the groups and individuals who are successful.

I highly recommend this book even if you don't like the fact that most of it is irrefutably true.

Jim Fuqua