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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
5 out of 5 stars (293 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
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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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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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thought-provoking

really challenged my views on dealing with viewpoints that I find offensive. thought-provoking in many ways. the concept of a culture of 'safetyism' which causes kids to misinterpret differing points of view as threatening is especially interesting. i didn't find it a light read - requires concentration!

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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..

7 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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  • paul ashton
  • 06-07-2020

why youngsters are scared silly...

"I blame the parents",used to be the shout..".I blame the parent'..is the most likely replacement for that call.
Haidts book explains his findings and offers observations which are very much plausible to describe what has happened In the last Forty or so years to rearing children in the west and priniciply in The States...Wonder why rights are everything and responsibility is at the feet of the patriarchy..Why its a legal matter to know where your kids sre,but you grew up wild and free .i
This book sets our carefully and with a wondergul pace to the delivery,what has gone awry and some ways hopefully to keep us all safe and sane.

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  • gearoid amazon
  • 15-05-2020

Leabhar do gach guine

Bh maith liom an leabhar. Cheap mé go raibh an t-údar tuisceanach agus cliste. Creidim go bhfuil leabhar tábhactach do thuismitheoirí

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-04-2020

A Brilliant Insight

A fantastic insight into the problems on modern university campuses.

A must read for all.

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  • J. Drew
  • 24-03-2020

Another great Haidt book

I’m not sure if I’m getting old but as someone who sometimes supports students, I seem to have noticed that many seem to be a little bit less resilient and more fragile than perhaps I was in my day. I have recently changed my style so that I can offer students the options of answering a question when I ask it or going away and thinking about it and then replying to me. Personally I find this a hopeless way of learning as I can’t really find out what student already knows and am able to give them an answer and help them think things through. Along with the fact that almost anything Jonathan Haidt writes is almost always an amazing book and certainly ‘the happiness hypothesis’ and ‘the righteous mind’ have been two of my favourite books of the last decade, and that is why I chose this book. It’s a much narrower subject but I also thought it would have a lot to offer and it certainly does. The book begins with dismantling several untruths such as what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker, always trust your feelings and people can be divided into good people and bad people. I believe all the three statements are nonsense to me but I do see others taking them on board to be true. However, we know that bones will break if we don’t put pressure on them and become stronger when we do, babies are stronger to the pressure delivered by natural birth rather than Caesarean and babies who are born in a germ free environment are much weaker than those exposed to germs. So the main message in this book is that we need to accept some pressure and stress to help make us more functional and stronger human beings in both college and the work place. Perhaps his book is not as strong as the other two Haidt books I have read but it certainly gives me plenty of food for thought. I personally found the chapter on what Internet he is doing to us on our phones alongside social media fascinating and thought-provoking. And I loved the last bit of how to do CBT which I’m going to employ and trial on one of my colleagues to see if it will help with their anxiety. There is a summary of what to do at the end, it might be of benefit. This is a fascinating book and well worth reading alongside Alex Beard’s ‘natural born learners’ which I read at the same time.

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  • David H. Furnival
  • 10-03-2020

Insightful and balanced

I found this book fascinating in its exploration of some of the things going wrong on campus today and why. I read this book after a similarly titled book "The closing of the American Mind" and saw a strong connection. Haider and Lukianoff finish with suggestions for parents colleges and professors to set us up for a more successful future

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  • Kamin
  • 28-02-2020

Amazing and timely book

If we want things to get better, we all have to pull together and fight the dark censorship culture. the big brother is not an external force, but a self censorship and the demon within. The fact that it may be well intentioned is irrelevant, and to some extent, makes it worse.

Having a debate, being free from fear and exposing oneself to opposing (sometimes erroneous) points of view is an essential part of democracy, progress and enlightenment.

We have to be prepared to defend it or face decades of darkness like the middle ages, with witch hunts, escalating violence and mob rule.

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  • Mother Ship Adrift Family Travel and Sailing Blogs
  • 07-02-2020

Not just American

This subject is as pertinent in the U.K. as America. A vital read for anyone trying to decipher the madness of current ‘moral’ and parental orthodoxy. It leaves you with the feeling, ‘thank God it’s not just ME who thinks this way’.