Amy Chua is a Chinese-American Professor of Law at Yale University who is best-known for authoring the book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Within said book, Chua outlines the severe regime she imposed on her two daughters, Lulu and Sophia, to ensure their academic success. Among other things, her daughters were not allowed to watch TV, play computer games, host/go on playdates or sleepovers, appear in school plays, get any grade less than an A, not be the no. 1 student in any subject except drama and gym, choose their extracurricular activities, play any musical instrument aside from the piano or violin, or refrain from playing either of those instruments. On one occasion, she called one of her daughters "garbage." On another, Chua rejected a handmade card one of her daughers made her for Mother's Day on the grounds that it wasn't good enough. On still another, she threatened to burn her daughter's stuffed toys if she could not master a piano piece, and made her practice it dozens of times into the night, refusing to even allow her to go to the bathroom. That sounds ghastly, but hey, at least she didn't beat her daughter to death with a pipe for mispronouncing a word.
On January 8, 2011, the Wall Street Journal published excerpts from the book under the heading "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior", and a firestorm of controversy predictably erupted. Left and right, people exclaimed "no, my own mother was not like this, not all Asian parents are like this!" and "Chua has no right to speak for all Chinese parents!" and so on. Chua received death threats. There were also, of course, those who defended her, claiming an antithesis to the American style of parenting in which kids are unceremoniously plonked in front of the TV for hours is just what we need. Chua has gone on to say that the book is not so much a how-to manual as a self-reflective, self-deprecative memoir, and her daughter has defended her, saying that much in the book that sounds harsh was not really as bad in real-life.
It is possible, of course, that the events in the book are partially or entirely made-up and that Chua's intention was merely to make some money and garner some attention by pandering to westerners' worst stereotypes of East Asians. If such is the case, she has certainly succeeded.