It is one of humanity’s enduring mysteries why some individuals, such as ourselves, rise from unpromising origins to such dizzy heights when so many others, like you, are failures. This book aims to answer that question for the first time – by drawing on bits of research that happen to fit our thesis, emails sent to our daughter and Google searches.

So why do some groups outperform each other in America? What has made us both brilliant lawyers, bestselling authors (and one of us a devastatingly attractive Tiger Mother), while you struggle along on welfare benefits? One simple answer is that we are both shameless, publicity-hungry individuals who pretend to court controversy, while you are gullible, reactive losers. But that is not an area we intend to explore too deeply.