Are Chinese Mothers Superior?

I was raised by a Chinese mother.

As a kid, I was often forced to do a lot of things I hated: 

* Playing piano
* Playing violin
* Attending extra math classes
* Attending Chinese school

I was also banished from certain activities that my mother didn't see fit. No Girl Scouts. No equestrian. No trombone. (Oh, how I loved the trombone!) Of course, my mom was a real softy at heart, but she made it clear that she was the Ultimate Ruler in our house. 

Growing up, I often resented my mom's strictness. I wanted to watch TV! I hated playing violin! But now as an adult,  I'm grateful for certain things my mom "forced" me to do. I got good grades in college due to the high academic standards she instilled in me. And playing piano for ten years? I appreciate music so much more and my piano skills have come in handy throughout the years.

The reason I bring this up is because of a Wall Street Journal essay I just read: "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior" by Amy Chua, a professor at Yale Law School. In the piece, Chua explains why so many Asian children become math whizzes and music prodigies. The key to such success? Pushing your kids to become high achievers. Instead of worrying about their child's self-esteem and desires, a Chinese mother pushes and pushes and pushes her kid until she gets straight A's, plays piano with perfection, and excels in every endeavor.  

Not surprisingly, Chua's article has unleashed a firestorm on the web. Her essay has received over 6000 comments, and Chua has even received death threats since its publication. Numerous Asian-Americans have been appalled by Chua's thinking, questioning why she would continue the traditions of her parents when Chinese mothering can cause so much distress and frustration in kids. 

Through it all, however, Chua stands by her statements. She argues that Chinese mothers ultimately want what's best for their children---they just have different ideas on how to how to achieve that. 

Have any of you guys read Chua's essay? If so, what do you think? Are her parenting methodologies too draconian? Or do the ends justify the means?