The Triple Package Book Summary - The Triple Package Book explained in key points
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The Triple Package summary

Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld

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

3.6 (11 ratings)
22 mins

Brief summary

The Triple Package by Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld argues that certain groups have an edge in achieving success due to three cultural traits: a superiority complex, insecurity, and impulse control. The authors examine the Triple Package in groups such as Mormons, Jews, and Asians.

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    The Triple Package
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    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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    What is The Triple Package about?

    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.

    Best quote from The Triple Package

    Superiority plus insecurity is a formula for drive. Superiority plus impulse control is a formula for hardship endurance.

    —Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld
    example alt text

    Who should read The Triple Package?

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

    About the Author

    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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