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Betty Ming Liu, 54, grew up in New York City’s Chinatown, the oldest of two girls of Chinese immigrants with high expectations and abusive tactics.

“This is a topic so close to my heart,” she said. “It’s frightening to see that Amy Chua is still doing it. She’s young. She’s educated. She’s American born. She’s not an immigrant and for her to perpetuate this … is frightening.”

As a young adult, Mrs. Chua said she rebelled in her own way. She married a white, American Orthodox Jew after hearing from her dad: “‘You’ll marry a non-Chinese over my dead body.’ Now my dad and my husband are the best of friends.”

Mrs. Liu and Mrs. Chua alike acknowledge that the tiger mom parenting approach isn’t uniquely Chinese, “but we’ve perfected it,” Mrs. Liu said. “I got straight Ds in college. That was my only power over my father.”

Growing up in California’s Marin County, Tony Hsieh’s parents forced him to play four instruments. He’d sometimes cheat on practices by recording previous turns at the piano or violin and playing them back while his parents slept. Practice exams for the SAT began in middle school.

Mr. Hsieh graduated from Harvard in 1995, co-founded an Internet ad network sold to Microsoft and is now CEO of the online shoe retailer Zappos. He published a memoir of his road to success, “Delivering Happiness,” last year. What he didn’t do was become was a doctor, a top prize to his parents.

“For myself personally, I think I would have benefited from a less strict parenting style, because a big part of being an entrepreneur is about being creative, thinking outside the box, defying conventional wisdom, taking risks, which runs counter to the values of many Asian parents,” he said.

Mrs. Chua stands by much of her tiger mom ways: Intense attention to academics, for instance. And she has some clarifications: Her girls HAVE had sleepovers and playdates, but they were few and far between.

Regrets? “I wish I hadn’t lost my temper,” she said. “I wish I hadn’t been harsh. I wish I would have let them have more freedom.”