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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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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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..

18 people found this helpful

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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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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)

3 people found this helpful

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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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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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An absolutely essential book.

A must read for everyone interested in the world, the possible future and the current political situation.

Though focusing on education and the university (the forge for future citizens and politicians) this book highlights some of the bad ideas and pitfalls that undermine its purpose and ill-serve its students and society at large there-after. This book is packed with useful studies, insights and analysis. Clearly written, one feels every student and teacher should read this. The fundamentals of a well functioning society are debated here, strand by strand, in one of the clearest and most succinct books i've ever read on the subject (one can see the authors pedagogic roots - and the book is all the better for it!) - essential reading!

Get ready to make notes, as the ideas are insightful, beautifully and fluidly written (and too many are worth noting down).

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Could have been a quarter of the length

The narration is okay, however the problem is the content. Put simply, it's boring - same point fleshed out time and time again. Feels like the author didn't have more to offer but felt that they should write a longer book, which is a shame because the basic premise is good. I would have liked to see a more difference between the chapters and some more creativity with the topic.

1 person found this helpful

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Good Book!

A very good book for the people who want to understand the problems of our Present Times

A special book.

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Even Handed and helpful

This is not a polemic, rather it seeks to understand safetyism, its causes and effects and to chart a path forward to a more healthy place.

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Almost perfect

A must read for all, especially for those born after 1980!! Haidt and Lukianoff present a compelling case for how to grow and how our good intentions to prevent harm are hamstringing our potential.

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  • Luke
  • 15-09-20

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.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • J. Pietersen
  • 22-11-19

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
  • 15-05-19

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
  • 11-05-19

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
  • 01-05-19

Eye opening

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

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  • Al
  • 06-02-19

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
  • 26-11-18

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.