Free Minds & Free Markets

The Coddling of the American Mind: How Overprotective Parenting Led to Fragility on Campus—New at Reason

Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff explain how "good intentions and bad ideas" have made young people super-fragile—and how to make things better.

In 2015, psychology professor Jonathan Haidt and free-speech activist Greg Lukianoff published "The Coddling of the American Mind" in The Atlantic. It argued that speech codes, trigger warnings, and safe spaces on college campuses are "disastrous for education—and mental health." It quickly became the most-read article in the history of the magazine.

Now they've expanded it into a new book with the same title.

Lukianoff, a lawyer by training, heads FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which fights for free speech on campus. Haidt teaches at New York University and is a co-founder of Let Grow, the free-range parenting advocacy organization, and Heterodox Academy, which promotes intellectual diversity among faculty.

Reason's Nick Gillespie sat down with them to talk about why they believe that, as their book's subtitle puts it, "good intentions and bad ideas" about the supposed fragility of young people is "setting up a generation for failure."

Edited by Alexis Garcia. Intro by Todd Krainin. Camera by Jim Epstein and Kevin Alexander.

Photo Credits: Gage Skidmore/Flickr, picture-alliance/dpa/NEWSCOM

Click here for full text and downloadable versions.

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Photo Credit: Paul Kuroda/ZUMA Press/Newscom


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