How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America
On Sale: February 4, 2014
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"That certain groups do much better in America than
others—as measured by income, occupational status,
test scores, and so on—is difficult to talk about. In
large part this is because the topic feels racially charged.
The irony is that the facts actually debunk racial
stereotypes. There are black and Hispanic subgroups in the
United States far outperforming many white and Asian
subgroups. Moreover, there’s a demonstrable arc to group
success—in immigrant groups, it typically dissipates
by the third generation—puncturing the notion of
innate group differences and undermining the whole concept
of 'model minorities.'"
recently risen to astonishing business success. Cubans in
Miami climbed from poverty to prosperity in a generation.
Nigerians earn doctorates at stunningly high rates. Indian
and Chinese Americans have much higher incomes than other
Americans; Jews may have the highest of all.
Why do some groups rise? Drawing on groundbreaking
original research and startling statistics, The Triple
Package uncovers the secret to their success. A
superiority complex, insecurity, impulse control—these are
the elements of the Triple Package, the rare and potent
cultural constellation that drives disproportionate group
success. The Triple Package is open to anyone. America
itself was once a Triple Package culture. It’s been losing
that edge for a long time now. Even as headlines proclaim
the death of upward mobility in America, the truth is that
the oldfashioned American Dream is very much alive—butsome
groups have a cultural edge, which enables them to take
advantage of opportunity far more than others.
• Americans are taught that everyone is equal, that no
group is superior to another. But remarkably, all of
America’s most successful groups believe (even
they don’t say so aloud) that they’re exceptional, chosen,
superior in some way.
• Americans are taught that
self-esteem—feeling good about yourself—is the key to a
successful life. But in all of America’s most successful
people tend to feel insecure, inadequate,
that they have to prove themselves.
today spreads a message of immediate gratification, living
for the moment. But all of America’s most successful groups
cultivate heightened discipline and impulse control.
But the Triple Package has a dark underside too.
Each of its elements carries distinctive pathologies; when
taken to an extreme, they can have truly toxic effects.
Should people strive for the Triple Package? Should America?
Ultimately, the authors conclude that the Triple Package is
a ladder that should be climbed and then kicked away,
drawing on its power but breaking free from its
Provocative and profound, The
Triple Package will transform the way we think about
success and achievement.
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