Amy’s book rests on rather dubious data, and there are a number of contradictions. However, it is true that certain immigrants, their children, and their grandchildren, tend to be very upwardly mobile. These are people bold and determined enough to leave everything behind for a new life, and they often have an unusually strong work ethic, which they pass on to their children. It’s the kind of work ethic that characterized many Americans in past years.
I do not endorse Amy Chua. I don’t think I could have been a Tiger Mother like she was. But I do think there is a lot to be said for the importance of the work ethic and the determination of many modern immigrant groups. Americans should recapture some these earlier values if we want to continue the upward mobility that’s been the hallmark of our nation.
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