Listen free for 30 days

  • The Coddling of the American Mind

  • How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure
  • Written by: Jonathan Haidt, Greg Lukianoff
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Haidt
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (952 ratings)

1 credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
The Plus Catalogue—listen all you want to thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts, and audiobooks.
$14.95 a month plus applicable taxes after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy Now for $30.70

Buy Now for $30.70

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Tax where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

A timely investigation into the new "safety culture" on campus and the dangers it poses to free speech, mental health, education, and ultimately democracy

The generation now coming of age has been taught three Great Untruths: their feelings are always right; they should avoid pain and discomfort; and they should look for faults in others and not themselves. These three Great Untruths are part of a larger philosophy that sees young people as fragile creatures who must be protected and supervised by adults. But despite the good intentions of the adults who impart them, the Great Untruths are harming kids by teaching them the opposite of ancient wisdom and the opposite of modern psychological findings on grit, growth, and antifragility.  

The result is rising rates of depression and anxiety, along with endless stories of college campuses torn apart by moralistic divisions and mutual recriminations.   

This is a book about how we got here. First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt take us on a tour of the social trends stretching back to the 1980s that have produced the confusion and conflict on campus today, including the loss of unsupervised play time and the birth of social media, all during a time of rising political polarization.    

This is a book about how to fix the mess. The culture of “safety” and its intolerance of opposing viewpoints has left many young people anxious and unprepared for adult life, with devastating consequences for them, for their parents, for the companies that will soon hire them, and for a democracy that is already pushed to the brink of violence over its growing political divisions. Lukianoff and Haidt offer a comprehensive set of reforms that will strengthen young people and institutions, allowing us all to reap the benefits of diversity, including viewpoint diversity.    

This is a book for anyone who is confused by what’s happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live and work and cooperate across party lines.

©2018 Greg Lukianoff (P)2018 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

“Our behavior in society is not immune to the power of rational scientific analysis. Through that lens, prepare yourself for a candid look at the softening of America, and what we can do about it.” (Neil deGrasse Tyson, director, Hayden Planetarium, and author of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry)

More from the same

What listeners say about The Coddling of the American Mind

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    777
  • 4 Stars
    147
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    6
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    663
  • 4 Stars
    115
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    4
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    628
  • 4 Stars
    122
  • 3 Stars
    31
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I was with Haidt until he continued the lie...

I was following along in agreement until Haidt replayed the same lie the media has been telling for years, that Trump didn't condemn the white supremacists and neo nazis at Charlottesville. He did. Watch the full speech. After I heard that lie I can no longer trust that proper research was done for the rest of the data.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Two of today's great minds at work.

Every teacher, professor, parent, government worker, public intellectual, and preferably person should have this book!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Backed Up by Solid Data #Audible1

Important read for so many people. This needs to be "woke"! Authors are very effective communicators and have lots of data to backup their claims. #Audible1

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not well written

If this were a scientific journal and not an audiobook, then maybe, but I believe this was written by academic types that don’t know how to simplify their work so that a less learned reader might be able to easily understand. Their stories used run on and on with minimal control, and you really lose the point of what they’re trying to convey. I only got about a third into the book, and I just can’t finish it. There seems to be some good points hidden within a huge sea of info that needs to be simplified and made to be far more direct.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Must read for parents and educators

I will be sharing this book with my friends and family. great insight into young adults and why they do the things they do.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Finally! A balanced explanation of the iGen/Generation Z so distressing the rest of us

I have noticed an increasing lack of space in public discourse for critical debate and appropriate skepticism of social justice advocacy that verges on group think, public shaming and tactics used in Germany in the 1930s. As Generation X, I was taught to “trust no one, the truth is out there”. With children immersed in the internet, they have developed thin skins and soft brains easily manipulated by the corporate sector and ideologues. We don’t celebrate achievement anymore but whine about grievances. Social cohesion is being ripped apart and the first signs of trouble come from our university faculty and students. As the authors point out, it is time for some tough love. Be offended and learn to attack positions not people. This is a great book to identify the problems and present some solutions.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Waste of time and money

I could not get very far into this book. The authors are trying to show how the psychological development of youth has been impaired by attempts at safety. Instead of using data on the brain, culture, or psychological trauma, they use data on peanut allergies to attempt to prove that we need to introduce young people to dangers at low levels. They mention that the wealthier a nation becomes the more allergies they have. What he does not mention is the change in infant mortality rate in wealthier countries. Or the longer life span.

I fail to see how an entire generation can be the most violent, with the most school shootings, and the most time spent on violent video games, while at the same time being "too coddled". The (straight white male) are quite certain that forming a professor to call a student by their desired gendered pronoun is creating a place for them that is "too safe" and prevents growth.

However, it does not tie in even with their own (badly analogised) references to childhood allergies, as college age students are actually adults, not babies with developing immune systems. So even by the writer's own bad analogies, refusing to accommodate the requests of college age students for inclusion is like feeding an adult with peanut allergies peanuts because feeding peanuts to babies reduces the percentage of allergies within a group. (Even though it does not eliminate or even alter allergies in adults)

I see no evidence of actual research into the problems at hand. References were to newspaper articles. NO studies into the actual groups being spoken about were conducted.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Such an enlightening and important book!

the content is useful and very well thought out. I like that they provide context, supporting evidence, discussion from various perspectives, and then possible solutions. great read!!!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

unresearched nonsense

title says it all. if you’re looking for unbiased information this isn’t it. pushing proven false claims 🤮🤮

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book! Wow

How good intentions and bad ideas are setting up a generation for failure. Required reading for anyone that wishes to understanding what’s going on in western society today.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • TJ
  • 2018-12-02

Only Praise

I listened to this one directly following a conservative perspective book on diversity. I knew right away that the authors were liberals from the way they spoke about Obama (or didn’t speak) vs the way they spoke about Trump. This however was the only way to know because the evidence presented was very fair, far more fair than the previous book I read with many overlapping themes. I am a conservative who really believes in the great lessons espoused in this book. We need far less antagonism and reaction on left and right if we want to remain a functional republic. I really believe this is what’s best for our nation and children.

93 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • LG19
  • 2018-09-22

Enrich Understanding

As a Hockey Coach for the Past 12 years, I have experienced changes with kids of all ages. Bluntly put, the change is NEGATIVE. Kid's ages 5 - through College who I coach and interact with are having more and more trouble with dealing with adversity and that is simply because of the safety nets at every turn of their lives. Moreover, athletes in general tend to be more successful in life because of the life skills learn through sport which directly correlate to the books crucial concepts that help people develop and evolve as thoughtful individuals with comprehensive thought processes. I think every coach, parents and students in HS/College should read this book. Break the cycle of fearing failure. Fail and fail often and continue learning from your experiences to develop yourself and your mind.

91 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • JBroadnax
  • 2018-09-25

superb book.

I really loved the insights in this book. Not Conservative or Liberal, just honest. Both sides will be uncomfortable and both will have moments to cheer. If you read the whole book you can't help but be impressed.

47 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Darrel Bishop
  • 2018-09-06

A Triumph.

An excellent description and history of the current social trends (outrage culture, safe spaces etc.) that have become pedestrian on US university campuses. The two authors have a tone that is clear and informative and a concern for the truth of the matters they bring forth. This book is not an attempt to tickle the ears of anyone of any political persuasion but is directed to everyone who has a stake in seeing our country succeed in the statements of our founding documents.

44 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • 2018-09-08

Ambitious and worthwhile social psychology book

The three great untruths: (1) That which does not kill us makes us weaker. (2) Trust your feelings. (3) Life is a battle between good people and evil people.

I listened to The Coddling of the American Mind because I'm a fan of the work of the two authors. Social Psychologist Jonathan Haidt released The Righteous Mind in 2012. It is easily the best social psychology book I have ever read. The subtitle promise, Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, is fully delivered in The Righteous Mind. Greg Lukianoff in the founder and current leader of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). FIRE is a very effective organization that takes on cases of individuals who have suffered abusive punishments by universities. In 2015 Haidt and Lukianoff wrote a very long article in The Atlantic magazine with the same title as this book. The book expands the article dramatically by delving further into both the definition of the issues and recommendations for solutions.

I rate The Coddling of the American Mind only 3 stars because it seems to me that some of the recommendations lack adequate scientific basis, specifically for its over-dependence on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)and its questionable redefinition of igen (Internet generation or Generation Z). But make no mistake; I strongly recommend The Coddling of the American Mind although I consider it a work in progress. My comment about the authors' use of CBT should not be taken as a criticism of CBT itself. CBT is the gold standard of modern psychotherapy.

My Audible library now consists of approximately 2500 books, 90% fiction mostly of the mystery/thriller genre, and I have now written 2160 reviews. I've decided to stop reviewing all books I listen to choosing instead to write only occasional reviews. However, as I have done for several years I continue to follow Audible listener Shelley's reviews for recommendations of novels of my favorite fiction genre.

39 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michelle
  • 2020-07-23

Great insights tainted by inclusion of false media spin

Dr Haidt’s book provides valuable insights into our perceptions of life driving dysfunctional behaviors and where we have opportunities to understand the dynamics, and right the course. These insights tend to be associated with Democrat/Liberal beliefs and behaviors, but are stated in a factual manner often backed by research facts. Where Dr Haidt falls short is promoting incorrectly President Trump’s statements regarding the Charlottesville episode (known widely as “the good people hoax), and the actions of the driver of the car that killed a woman in his escape from threats. Contrary to other parts of the book, this narrative seems to be a page out of a left-leaning media report. Dr Haidt either was influenced by his own political bias, or did not actually revue these events with the same clinical, objective eye a social psychologist researcher would do with other data in order to provide an accurate evaluation.
I’ve heard interviews with Jonathan Haidt and have no doubt he is a good person with good intentions and who’s work can benefit society. I do wonder how he reconciles his findings with what seems to be his own left-leaning politics, when the data for what is causing large scale societal strife is strongly aligned with attitudes and behaviors tied to people who vote Democrat.

33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • R. Marq
  • 2018-09-28

Great follow up to a great article

I read the article of this in The Atlantic and thought it was great without noticing the authors. I later hear John Haidt on a podcast with Sam Harris talking about this and immediately downloaded it. No regrets. It’s just as good if not better than the article. Very balanced and super insightful. Great for understanding a large part of what’s going on in American politics and great for any parents raising the next generation.

33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Philomath
  • 2018-09-07

The consequences of overprotection

“Prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child” this book is a gem, and should be required reading for all parents, specially those that have the means to provide everything for their children.

Sometimes we think we are protecting our children when in actual fact we are hindering them by not preparing them for the world. Children are by nature resilient “anti-fragile”. This book is about letting strengthening their capabilities by providing a challenging environment where they learn to accept to fend for themselves intellectually when they are right, and understand that they can also be wrong.

There are different point of views that have merit and require a voices and most of all listening ears. The views of the author are the antithesis of the us verses them toxic mentality that has plagued our society through the filtering bubbles of social media, where opposing views are not only not tolerated but heckled creating an environment of hate and dividing people.

Our children are our future. We should expose them to the other side, so that maybe they don’t make the mistakes that we too commonly do, the intolerance of an objector, the unchallenged righteousness of our beliefs. We are right they are wrong, we are good they are evil.

A great book, supported by facts and good evidence. Highly recommended.

31 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Fernando De La Torre
  • 2020-02-21

Lost Author

The author was able to spot the issue with the progressive ideology and it's horrible affect on young impressionable minds. But yet at the end of each point of the progressive failure they somehow found a way to turn around and blame conservatives or "the right." They kept bringing up the Charleston march as an excuse for the lunacy of the left. I may not like the white supremacists (ground level Democrats) but a legally arranged March by 2 dozen people is not a mob. The authors also left out how the protesters were the aggressors in the altercation which is kind of a major detail in the real story.

You'll notice this tactic of leaving out important bits of information throughout the book.

The authors tell how many professors were stayed quiet to avoid the backlash and I feel this is a fear of the authors as well. They were able to see and point out how the left ideals are hurting these kids but randomly blame the right to avoid the wrath.

30 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-09-26

Oh so needed of a book by teachers and students alike

I recently graduated from an American university. I first hand experienced the three untruths this book outlines, I saw the pendulum swing voraciously towards safetyism.

The Coddling is a well researched book coming at an important time. Teachers in college and below as well as students in college and below should read this book.

20 people found this helpful