The Triple Package

Why Groups Rise and Fall in America
Narrated by: Jonathan Todd Ross
Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (308 ratings)

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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 listeners say about The Triple Package

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  • Overall
    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.

4 people found this helpful

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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.

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21 people found this helpful

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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 people found this helpful

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incredibly insightful

if you want to know what's really going on in the world read this book instead of watching YouTube videos or television or other sources of misinformation. enjoyable oh, well written, well worth the trouble overeating.

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Not a good book

I was not impressed with this book at all. I only could get through 1/3 of it before I realized it wasn’t worth finishing. I was expecting to find more insightful ideas and statistics to back it up. Unfortunately, the authors cherry-picked their “facts” and used them wrongly in a way to support their 3 prong explanation for success. For example, I am a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints. Though the authors did show the fact that many people are very successful from this religion, They got it all wrong as to why. Yes, they do have a “chip on their shoulder”, however The chip did not come only from the former odd and unaccepted practice of plural marriage. It came from a group of people who were murdered and persecuted for their beliefs. In 1838, the Governor of Missouri ordered that Mormons must be "exterminated or driven from the state." They later sought refuge in the Salt Lake Valley where they could peacefully live and practice their religion. Polygamy was practiced over 100 years ago from 1852-1890. the fundamentalist LDS group (FLDS), Has absolutely no connection to the current LDS Faith. Their polygamy practices are condemned and they have no membership or even connection with the LDS Faith. Their sect split off in 1904 after their refusal to give up plural marriage. Since then, they have no connection to the mainstream LDS Faith. It is very annoying and offensive to see the authors make correlations to this FLDS and LDS group that has nothing to do with LDS members. Totally different groups! Especially how the author talked in general terms about how the FLDS are more likely to take government aid and welfare as if they were lumped together with other LDS. Self-reliance is strongly advised and taught in the LDS faith and taking government subsidies is discouraged and only used as a last resort for its members. This is just one of the many ways LDS are separate from FLDS. Most importantly, they left out a huge part of what makes Mormons on average more successful. They dismiss the fact that education IS at the core of our religion. BYU tuition is very affordable especially for the quality of the education. Additionally, members are encouraged and advised to get an education. If members are unable to pay the fees, they can receive help with payment. BYU students also do not have to go into exorbitant amounts of debt because tuition is so cheap. Also, Mormons have a great thrift, industry, ingenuity and hard work and so much of that has to do with our history of being exiled to a very desolate land that we had to settle and make into what it is today. These historical practices and ideas are very alive in the current faith and culture. In fact, Utah has the state symbol of a beehive. This symbol represents industry, hard work and collaboration. If they misunderstood one group of people so much, I cannot trust the other ways they have represented the groups of people in this book. Also, I just don’t see the three-prong success narrative as valid.

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Did Not Disappoint

This book flows and validates the anecdotal bio of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. I still listen it to over and over as comic relief to raising teens. . I like Rubenfeld's easy style of storytelling even with empirical data. I loved his book Interpretation of Murder.

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excellent!

This was an excellent, deeply researched, and thought-provoking study of group success in America. a must-read for anyone who wishes to think seriously about the phenomenon of upward mobility, and how to encourage it among some of our society's most disadvantaged groups.

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Great read. Loved it.

This book offers incredible insight into what makes groups successful in America. Definitely buying a physical copy for reference.

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Great book - very informative!!

I appreciate the courage of Prof. Chua and Rubenfeld to write this book, uncovering the socioeconomic status of various minority groups in America and illustrating both how simple and how hard it is to succeed!

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solid book

thoughtful insight on the qualities of successful groups. helpful information for any parent who wants their kids to succeed