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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
4.8 out of 5 stars (348 ratings)

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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 listeners say about The Coddling of the American Mind

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  • Kai
  • 30-11-2018

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 people found this helpful

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A warning for Australian unis

This is a brilliant book. In a well reasoned and compassionate manner, the authors show how a variety of factors have combined to give rise to the madness that is occurring on American campuses. It’s a warning for Australia as the forces of division rise

3 people found this 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.

2 people found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this 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 person found this helpful

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incredibly good and incredibly relevant

Don't be put off by the title - the content is just as relevant around the world as in America. Excellent insights and recommendations for our times.

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Please listen to this

Just listen to it and think about it. Don’t get offended or defensive. Just listen and think. Great work.

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A must read.

Such a great book. Be careful not to react to soon to the books content. You will find it very interesting and hard to reach by the end.

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Good argument, covers a lot of context

Covers implications of the core argument across fields and from different perspectives. Didn’t unnecessarily cover ground it already covered. Presentation was suitable for audiobook format.

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Extremely informative & fascinating- must read

Highly recommend to anyone with interests in parenting and child development - practical and simply put concepts backed up by evidence

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  • Luke
  • 15-09-2020

Evidence free right winger blame ruins the theory

While I highly rate this author, at the time of writing he was still a leftist in the process of being mugged by reality. He can recognise the causes of the problem but still clings desperately to the idea that leftist ideas are just being used for bad purposes rather than simply being the poison themselves. I think the author knows that all the relevant mechanisms in his theory are all tactics of the left but in order to hedge against the cancellation he knows this would invoke he regularly throws in some blame to the mythical 'rising right-wing' that is somehow everywhere without actually ever being anywhere. This is especially laughable because we are talking about university campuses. Oh and the book even has some orange man bad with the author pushing the 'very fine people' lie because TDS sells or something. The author's claim that the left and right have equally contributed to the decline of tolerance and the rise censorship has not aged well at all. The irony that the author himself is now denounced as right wing by those of his former fellow travellers for the great crime of pointing out how they were contributing to the problem. But, despite all that, this book does a reasonable job of explaining the rise of safetyism and how it causes the insanity and divisions gripping America.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • J. Pietersen
  • 22-11-2019

Didappointing

While interesting from a psychological perspective the style is too apologetic, as if the authors are codling the readers. This book will be forgotten in history.

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  • Mr. Mike Hackett
  • 15-05-2019

A significant contribution to education and youth

My favourite book of 2018. Expertly written, widely relevant and imminently practical guidance for educators everywhere. Brilliant.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-05-2019

Nuanced and well researched

Intelligent examination of the current state of public discourse on and off campus, using CBT as a guide. Highly recommended.

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  • Wilme
  • 01-05-2019

Eye opening

Really enjoyed this book. Informs and makes you think. Everyone should read this! Haidt at his best.

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  • Al
  • 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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  • 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..

13 people found this helpful

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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.

4 people found this 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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Darren Scott
  • 09-07-2020

Enthralling piece of work

I really like it when the actual author of the book is doing the reading. Adds an authenticity to it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jon P
  • 21-10-2020

A good listen, and explains a lot about gen Z

Why gen z and the internet gen are so angry and scared and confused is summed up nicely in this book. Really not sure about the narrator through, makes it quite hard to listen for long stretches.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-10-2020

Highly recommended

An intriguing and wonderfully stimulating listen. When Jordan Peterson and Johnathan Haidt agree on something, it’s highly worth paying attention (or listening)! Also Haidt’s vocal performance for the audiobook has the passion of Malcolm Gladwell. It adds to the power of the words. Entertaining as well as educating.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-10-2020

A must read for those in academia

A great book in many respects, worth a listen for all those across the political spectrum

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  • Reverend
  • 23-09-2020

Tries to put equal blame on left and right

Sorry but you cannot put equal blame on left and right for the situation in the US (and other) education systems when the educational establishment is almost 100% left wing. Hairy asks "Where did students learn to think this way?" Well Jonathan if you can't work that one out I fear for you, it certainly wasn't Donald Trump (who you seem to want to draw into every explanation)

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-09-2020

excellent

such an excellent book, very informative. it is exactly what anyone who isn't sure how we got here of late, needs.

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  • Fergus Lister
  • 29-08-2020

worth your time

valuable insight into the changing world and attitudes and the side effects that come with that change. also if you're a complete child like me, hearing him talk about cbt can be very funny