55 pages 1 hour read

Greg Lukianoff, Jonathan Haidt

The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 2018

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Key Figures

Jonathan Haidt

The Coddling co-author Jonathan Haidt, PhD, a social psychologist, is a professor at New York University, where he teaches ethical leadership. In 2009, he and his wife and child attend a preschool orientation that emphasizes “no nuts” (19) because occasionally a kid will have an allergic reaction to them. This begins his experience with school “safetyism” that influences the book. Haidt believes the ancients have many answers to our present-day social issues; these answers are contained in Stoicism and Buddhism, among other systems. Haidt also believes that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can correct much of what is wrong with American society.

Greg Lukianoff

The Coddling co-author Greg Lukianoff, a Stanford law school graduate, is president and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which campaigns for freedom of speech on college campuses. Lukianoff has suffered from depression and benefits greatly from practicing CBT. Both he and co-author Haidt believe strongly that CBT can help reduce anxiety and depression in students and help them cope with controversy and disagreement on campus and in life.

Lenore Skenazy

In 2008, Ms. Skenazy “permitted her nine-year-old son, Izzy, to ride the New York City subway by himself” (163). This causes controversy, and the public derides her as the “America’s worst mom” (163).