The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure

The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure

A timely investigation into the campus assault on free speech and what it means for students, education, and our democracy.

The generation now coming of age has been taught three Great Untruths: their feelings are always right; they should avoid pain and discomfort; and they should look for faults in others and not themselves. These three Great Untruths are part of a larger philosophy that sees young people as fragile creatures who must be protected and supervised by adults. But despite the good intentions of the adults who impart them, the Great Untruths are harming kids by teaching them the opposite of ancient wisdom and the opposite of modern psychological findings on grit, growth, and antifragility. The result is rising rates of depression and anxiety, along with endless stories of college campuses torn apart by moralistic divisions and mutual recriminations.

This is a book about how we got here. First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt take us on a tour of the social trends stretching back to the 1980s that have produced the confusion and conflict on campus today, including the loss of unsupervised play time and the birth of social media, all during a time of rising political polarization.

This is a book about how to fix the mess. The culture of “safety” and its intolerance of opposing viewpoints has left many young people anxious and unprepared for adult life, with devastating consequences for them, for their parents, for the companies that will soon hire them, and for a democracy that is already pushed to the brink of violence over its growing political divisions. Lukianoff and Haidt offer a comprehensive set of reforms that will strengthen young people and institutions, allowing us all to reap the benefits of diversity, including viewpoint diversity.

This is a book for anyone who is confused by what’s happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live and work and cooperate across party lines.

Title:The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure
Edition Language:English
ISBN:null
Format Type:

About Greg Lukianoff


    The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure Reviews

  • Mehrsa

    This is a very narrow and small-minded book parading as a big thoughtful one. It says it is about the American Mind, but the data and the theory only support "the coddling" of a very narrow subset of ...

  • Ryan Boissonneault

    Imagine that you want to start a fitness program to increase your strength and endurance and sign up at the local gym. Upon arrival, you notice that management has removed all of the weights, concerne...

  • Emily May

    I saw Jonathan Haidt speak on Real Time and he seemed like an intelligent guy with a lot of interesting ideas, so I patiently waited for this book to become available at my library. I'm also curious a...

  • Jenna

    Education should not be intended to make people comfortable; it is meant to make them think." ~Hanna GrayI'm not sure how to begin this review other than to say it was highly interesting and highly di...

  • Ariella

    I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of this book, and will be recommending it to at least half the people I know. Its insights into the various developments over the past couple generations(par...

  • Michael Shore

    The central tenants of this book are good but incredibly repetitive and fluffed up. Towards the end of the book, I wanted to shoot myself everytime I read the word "saftyism." The book started out as ...

  • Robert Miller

    There can be little doubt that students entering our colleges and universities for the past several years are traveling to the beat of a different drum. For the most part, many of these young men and ...

  • Ill D

    In spite of an incredibly Pollyana-ish ending, Coddling of the American Mind is an otherwise superbly well written and well researched book about one of the most pressing issues of contemporary Americ...

  • Perry

    Hallelujah and Amen! A definite TBR for parents of kids 'tween 2 and 22 - the iGen....

  • Radiantflux

    97th book for 2018.This again seems like a good article that got bloated unnecessarily into a book. There are some good points about the necessity to develop resilience in children, but with little st...