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The Coddling of the American Mind - Greg Lukianoff & Jonathan Haidt

The Coddling of the American Mind

By Greg Lukianoff & Jonathan Haidt

  • Release Date: 2018-09-04
  • Genre: Social Science
Score: 4.5
From 466 Ratings


Something is going wrong on many college campuses in the last few years. Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising. Speakers are shouted down. Students and professors say they are walking on eggshells and afraid to speak honestly. How did this happen?
First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt show how the new problems on campus have their origins in three terrible ideas that have become increasingly woven into American childhood and education: what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker; always trust your feelings; and life is a battle between good people and evil people. These three Great Untruths are incompatible with basic psychological principles, as well as ancient wisdom from many cultures. They interfere with healthy development. Anyone who embraces these untruths—and the resulting culture of safetyism—is less likely to become an autonomous adult able to navigate the bumpy road of life.
Lukianoff and Haidt investigate the many social trends that have intersected to produce these untruths. They situate the conflicts on campus in the context of America’s rapidly rising political polarization, including a rise in hate crimes and off-campus provocation. They explore changes in childhood including the rise of fearful parenting, the decline of unsupervised play, and the new world of social media that has engulfed teenagers in the last decade.
This is a book for anyone who is confused by what is happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live, work, and cooperate across party lines.


  • Misplaced application

    By Violin255
    I really wanted to like this book and for the most part I did. I fully agree with the 3 guidelines, I totally agree with idea to Western child are a bit too coddled and it hurts them in adulthood. However when the author gets into example applications he mostly goes for incidents on college campus that he generalizes, cherry picks and completely misunderstands what is happening. He also commits that same sin he is harping against by inferring intention of students or misrepresenting them by cherry picking the most outlandish examples. Sometimes he will even offer a good but brief counter opinion to his interpretation but never addresses it. By the end I became very disenchanted with the book as the author seems to be one of those people who people use a lot of intelligent words to just flamboyantly say “keep the status quo that I’m comfortable with.” This book could have greatly improved if he had applied this more like a therapist than an attack on current college culture. It’s not that current college culture doesn’t need some slight redressing his direction but he tried made a mountain out of molehill. Applying this more to personal struggles at work or with family like therapist would have been an amazing book.
  • Truth

    By Gearchamp
    A recommended read for every parent, student and teacher.
  • Free speech for whom?

    By e.a.henry
    Ironically, this book calls for free speech while simultaneously downplaying public statements made by marginalized groups expressing their disenfranchisement. The idea that some topics may be too offensive for discussion is inverted—students and teachers who express experiences of oppression are suddenly deemed offensive. The true offense lies in the invalidation of historically-driven process of inequality that persist in the present.
  • Excellent Information on what is happening

    By 79831121222
    This book does a great job describing the way young people are changing and what society has done to change them.
  • Highly recommended

    By Xds9mm
    Haven’t quite finished it but I love it so far
  • Hopefully this is the beginning…

    By 914003
    …of the restoration of sanity in our world. These two gentlemen provide focus, clarity, understanding, and solutions about a very complex issue. An absolute must read for anyone trying to navigate today’s culture wars.

    By For the likes
    I think all 16-25 year olds should read this book
  • Required Reading

    By Odd Comma
    Or it should be, anyway. The authors make an extremely compelling case. This book is one of the very few I can honestly say noticeably changed my worldview. I wish every person in America would read it and at least be exposed to these ideas. Then, of course, they’re free to reject them if they like. A little viewpoint diversity never killed anyone.
  • Illuminating analysis

    By _Chris2pher2_
    Stunning examples, Incisive reflection and compelling argumentation make this book a treasure and a must-read for anyone navigating the US education system, parenting or US society at-large.
  • Interesting but arguments feel cherry-picked

    By Adnune764
    Although the content is thought provoking, it often feels like catastrophizing and extreme examples are used to prove the writer’s thesis.