Why is this child different?

February 9, 2014

Tiger mother Amy Chua caused a stir a few years ago with a book about the aspirations Chinese Americans had for their children — which made pushy Jewish parents seem like pussies.

Now she and husband Jed Rubenfeld have challenged educational liberalism again with their new book, The Triple Package, asking what makes some groups do better than others. Like Indians, Chinese or… us.

While USA’s Jews accounted for a third of its Nobel laureates, they observed in this week’s Sunday Times, British Jews were “disproportionately successful” too.

Though just 0.5 per cent of the population, they accounted for a quarter of the 20 wealthiest people in the UK in 2012 and were “strikingly over-represented” among Oxford college heads.

Such groups derive their drive from a combination of three factors, they argue: first, a superiority complex —“at their first Passover Seders, most Jewish children hear that Jews are the ‘chosen’ people.” Add insecurity and “impulse control” (self-discipline) and then you have a recipe for success.

Last updated: 3:45pm, February 9 2014