Amy Chau's popular "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" joins a long list of books that have brought parental behavior into question. Chau's boot-camp approach included disciplining her 3-year-old by sending her out into the cold and ranting about the quality of her young daughters' homemade birthday cards. If history is any guide, such incidents could be fodder for a future tell-all. As these five books show, children can have long memories.
"Mommy Dearest," by Christina Crawford. Actress Joan Crawford's legacy has been indelibly altered by this rendering of her as a monstrous parent bent on preserving a picture of familial bliss for her fans. In an over-the-top portrayal of Crawford in the book's film version, Faye Dunaway memorably shrieks the line that lives in camp infamy: "No more wire hangers!"
"My Mother's Keeper," by B.D. Hyman. In Bette Davis's eyes, her daughter's book was an unforgivable betrayal. Hyman painted Davis as self-absorbed and an abusive, alcoholic mother. Davis struck back in her own memoir, "This 'N That," calling her daughter ungrateful for "the very privileged life I feel you have been given."
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"Home Front," by Patti Davis. The dysfunctional family in Davis's novel bore more than a little resemblance to the real-life version in which she'd grown up. While it brought particular pain to her mother, First Lady Nancy Reagan, and fueled years of estrangement, the two have since reconciled.
"Knock Wood," by Candice Bergen. The radiant actress and model revealed that all was not rosy growing up the daughter of the beloved ventriloquist Edgar Bergen. She spent years competing for her father's affection with his famous dummy, Charlie McCarthy. When planning her father's funeral, she accidentally called it "the Edgar Bergen Show."
"High On Arrival" And we almost hesitate to mention Mackenzie Phillips's shocker in which she claimed her dad, John Phillips, routinely provided her with cocaine and that she woke up from a drug-induced blackout to find that she was having sex with him. Horrible! Frankly, in this case, one wishes she had a Tiger Mother or even a tiger to protect her.
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