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The Triple Package

How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America

By Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld
16-minute read
Audio available
The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America by Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld

The Triple Package (2014) is a sweeping account of the rise and fall of different cultural groups in America. These blinks explain the traits essential to success, how they are at odds with American values and the unintended side effects they often have.

  • Anyone interested in the logic of success
  • People who want to know why some groups excel above others
  • Fans of cultural theories

Amy Chua and her husband Jed Rubenfeld are professors at Yale Law School as well as published authors. Chua penned the controversial internationally bestselling parenting book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and Rubenfeld has written two mystery novels.

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The Triple Package

How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America

By Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld
  • Read in 16 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 10 key ideas
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The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America by Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld
Synopsis

The Triple Package (2014) is a sweeping account of the rise and fall of different cultural groups in America. These blinks explain the traits essential to success, how they are at odds with American values and the unintended side effects they often have.

Key idea 1 of 10

Successful groups in America often share common characteristics.

It’s clear that certain groups in America excel above others. And while your personal success can depend heavily on that of your parents, the American Dream of rising from rags to riches is still a reality for some, and for immigrants in particular.

Of course, this depends on your definition of “success,” but if by success you mean having an important role in society and plenty of money, then it’s possible to compare the relative accomplishments of different groups. For instance, Indian Americans have the highest median household income of all census-tracked ethnic groups, clocking in at $90,500 per year, but the Taiwanese come a close second.

Another group that’s garnered a high standard of achievements are Jewish Americans, who are continually awarded the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize and Tony Awards, and earn huge amounts from hedge funds disproportionate to their population size.

However, the overall success of a group can also decline. For instance, in the early 1900s, Protestants were on top of the American economy, but today they hold a less than average amount of the country’s wealth.

So, how do some groups rise and others fall?

It’s got a lot to do with the Triple Package, a combination of three forces that all successful groups in America share, each of which contradicts a fundamental aspect of American thinking.

They are:

A superiority complex, or the deeply held belief that your group is somehow better than others. This could be based on religious supremacy (Mormons), the glory of the group’s history (the Chinese), or being told that you are the “chosen people” (Jews).

The second aspect is insecurity or the feeling that you aren’t good enough. For example, immigrants can be particularly insecure as they deal with many economic and social anxieties.

And the third element is impulse control, or the strength to resist temptation. This is especially key when facing difficult conditions.

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