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The Coddling of the American Mind

How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure
Narrated by: Jonathan Haidt
Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (107 ratings)
Non-member price: $33.43
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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Coddling of the America Mind by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff, read by Jonathan Haidt.

What doesn't kill you makes you weaker.
Always trust your feelings.
Life is a battle between good people and evil people.

These three Great Untruths contradict basic psychological principles about well-being as well as ancient wisdom from many cultures. And yet they have become increasingly woven into education, culminating in a stifling culture of 'safetyism' that began on American college campuses and is spreading throughout academic institutions in the English-speaking world. 

In this book, free speech campaigner Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt investigate six trends that caused the spread of these untruths, from the decline of unsupervised play to the corporatisation of universities and the rise of new ideas about identity and justice. 

Lukianoff and Haidt argue that well-intended but misguided attempts to protect young people can hamper their development, with devastating consequences for them, for the educational system and for democracy itself. 

©2018 Jonathan Haidt & Greg Lukianoff (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

What members say

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The cure for our youth and political crises

This book is a brilliant look at the dangers of overprotective parenting and the slow creep of safetyism in institutions such as universities and schools. Highly recommend, especially for parents or those who work with young people, students, and people who work on schools or universities.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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very good informative book

some really eye opening facts and points that everyone should hear, especially young people and parents.

well read and balanced arguments.

some points get repeated but the delivery is understandable and facts back up why these should be repeated.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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enlightening

this very well written and presented book answered a lot of questions regarding what is happening in our society today, particularly among young people. this book should be widely read. the authors present a clear case about how 3 untruths are shaping the current generation and what can be done about it. highly recommended for parents and educators in particular.

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Brilliant deconstruction of the culture

This is a brilliant and honest deconstruction of the culture of safetyism, hysteria and anti-intellectualism gripping the western world and leading us astray. Fantastic work.

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Numerous inaccuracies

The book reports inaccurately on a number of news items including Silicon Valley’s “Bro culture”. If you are interested in listening to 2 centre leftists criticising the far left while mischaracterising numerous events in order not to seem right wing this book is for you!

1 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-02-2019

Deeply Important & Highly Engaging

A master class in reasoning and responsible, compassionate analysis. Haidt and Lulianoff don't attack modern safetyism / PC culture, as many others have, rather they seek to explain its origins, critique its problems and suggestion multiple ways forward.

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  • William
  • 26-11-2018

A great read for anyone not already a paid up SJW and hence potentially impervious to the contents.

As someone not understanding where all this safe spaces, micro aggressions and etc was coming from, this book is a definite eye opener.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-12-2018

Utterly brilliant!

An interesting, informative, educational and entertaining listen from the first to the last word. I will be recommending this book to everyone, especially those involved in education and those with children.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Forsythe
  • 13-12-2018

best book on communication I have read

Wisdom on honest communication. Something I feel I have always used, but now I under the process better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-03-2019

Must read for parents and those who work with young people

One of the best books I’ve heard on a very current and pressing issue in society.

The underlying message is concisely told by a good narrator and author. Much of the takeaway lessons are essential reading for those with any involvement with young people and parents.

I think the argument made is powerful and pressing. It struck a note with me and my own practice , as I work with young people and see the consequences of our neglect of the problem until now.

Rarely has a book been so needed.

Highly recommended

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  • Charles Bertoia
  • 25-03-2019

Great book from great scientist

Really enjoyed this book and it is a very excellent continuation of Dr Haidt’s previous work. I can suggest it to anyone but it is necessary for all parents and those that work with kids.

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  • Lachlan
  • 02-03-2019

A Must-Listen

This book is astonishingly relevant to politics, parenting, technological trends, psychology and many other aspects of modern Western life. It essentially explains exactly what is going wrong with political debate in our society today and how we can all strive to fix these issues on a personal basis. It’s also compelling and straightforward - Jonathan Haidt is both an excellent writer and a great narrator. Everyone should read or listen to this, I can’t recommend it enough.

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  • Diana
  • 27-02-2019

Eye opening

I loved this book so much. It really opened my mind to some of the potential causes for behaviour patterns I am seeing with my students at the moment.

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  • SwissTony
  • 10-02-2019

An Important book marred by false "balance"

This is a very important book, describing in clear terms how the last 40 years of over protective parenting combined with social media to create a toxic brew that has led to Stepford students conducting witch hunts, destroying academic integrity and making themselves (and everybody else) miserable in the process.
The book explicitly outlines 3 untruths core to the problem, whatever doesn't kill you makes you weaker, always trust your feelings and the world is divided into good and evil people.
The problem is that the authors political bias (they are on the left) stop them from seeing this as it is, a predominantly left wing phenomena and they engage in ever more desperate mental gymnastics to suggest that this problem afflicts both sides of the political divide equally. This isn't to say that the right doesn't have its problems but this isn't one of them. It really comes down to the old adage that the right thinks the left are wrong but the left thinks the right are evil. This distinction means that, for those on the left, one of the untruths is always a given, unfortunately, helicopter parenting and social media to put the other 2 in place to take us to where we are now..

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  • C. Mcewan
  • 05-02-2019

every parent, teenager ... everyone read this!

this book has all the logic, evidence and common sense needed to better understand current social climates but also how to develop a resilient generation. I wish I had known this sooner.

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  • Davsin
  • 30-01-2019

A Must Listen

Very informative ! Well read with an amazing amount of insight and information. Have already recommended to all family and friends

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  • Colin
  • 23-01-2019

Perhaps the most important read since 2016

We are failing to focus on our shared humanity. Jonathan Haidt doesn't just explain why we are seeing political polarisation and protests within universities but possible solutions to the problem.