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About Greg Lukianoff
Greg Lukianoff is an attorney and the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). He is the author of "Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate" and his writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Boston Globe, in addition to dozens of other publications. He is a regular columnist for The Huffington Post and has appeared on television shows, including the "CBS Evening News," "Fox & Friends," "The Today Show," CNN's "New Day," C-SPAN's "Washington Journal," and "Stossel." He received the 2008 Playboy Foundation Freedom of Expression Award and the 2010 Ford Hall Forum's Louis P. and Evelyn Smith First Amendment Award on behalf of FIRE. He is a graduate of American University and Stanford Law School.
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Books By Greg Lukianoff
First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt show how the new problems on campus have their origins in three terrible ideas that have become increasingly woven into American childhood and education: what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker; always trust your feelings; and life is a battle between good people and evil people. These three Great Untruths are incompatible with basic psychological principles, as well as ancient wisdom from many cultures. They interfere with healthy development. Anyone who embraces these untruths—and the resulting culture of safetyism—is less likely to become an autonomous adult able to navigate the bumpy road of life.
Lukianoff and Haidt investigate the many social trends that have intersected to produce these untruths. They situate the conflicts on campus in the context of America’s rapidly rising political polarization, including a rise in hate crimes and off-campus provocation. They explore changes in childhood including the rise of fearful parenting, the decline of unsupervised play, and the new world of social media that has engulfed teenagers in the last decade.
This is a book for anyone who is confused by what is happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live, work, and cooperate across party lines.
Cancel culture is a new phenomenon, and The Canceling of the American Mind is the first book to codify it and survey its effects. From the team that brought you the bestselling Coddling of the American Mind comes hard data and research on what cancel culture is and how it works, along with hundreds of new examples showing the left and the right both working to silence their enemies.
The Canceling of the American Mind will change how you view cancel culture. Rather than a moral panic, we should consider it a dysfunctional part of how Americans battle for power, status, and dominance. Cancel culture is just one symptom of a much larger problem: the use of cheap rhetorical tactics to “win” arguments without actually winning arguments. After all, why bother refuting your opponents when you can just take away their platform or career?
The good news is that we can beat back this threat to democracy through better citizenship. The Canceling of the American Mind offers concrete steps toward reclaiming a free speech culture, with materials specifically tailored for parents, teachers, business leaders, and everyone who uses social media. We can all show intellectual humility and promote the essential American principles of individuality, resilience, and open mindedness.
That was over twenty years ago. Since then, the United States has experienced unprecedented wealth, more youth enrolling in higher education than ever before, and technology advancements far beyond what many in the 1980s dreamed possible. And yet, the state of the American mind seems to have deteriorated further. Benjamin Franklin’s “self-made man” has become a man dependent on the state. Independence has turned into self-absorption. Liberty has been curtailed in the defense of multiculturalism.
In order to fully grasp the underpinnings of this shift away from the self-reliant, well-informed American, editors Mark Bauerlein and Adam Bellow have brought together a group of cultural and educational experts to discuss the root causes of the decline of the American mind. The writers of these fifteen original essays include E. D. Hirsch, Nicholas Eberstadt, and Dennis Prager, as well as Daniel Dreisbach, Gerald Graff, Richard Arum, Robert Whitaker, David T. Z. Mindich, Maggie Jackson, Jean Twenge, Jonathan Kay, Ilya Somin, Steve Wasserman, Greg Lukianoff, and R. R. Reno. Their essays are compiled into three main categories:
- States of Mind: Indicators of Intellectual and Cognitive Decline
- These essays broach specific mental deficiencies among the population, including lagging cultural IQ, low Biblical literacy, poor writing skills, and over-medication.
- Personal and Cognitive Habits/Interests
- These essays turn to specific mental behaviors and interests, including avoidance of the news, short attention spans, narcissism, and conspiracy obsessions.
- National Consequences
- These essays examine broader trends affecting populations and institutions, including rates of entitlement claims, voting habits, and a low-performing higher education system.
The State of the American Mind is both an assessment of our current state as well as a warning, foretelling what we may yet become. For anyone interested in the intellectual fate of America, The State of the American Mind offers an accessible and critical look at life in America and how our collective mind is faring.
In this Broadside, Greg Lukianoff argues that the threats to free speech go well beyond political correctness or liberal groupthink. As global populations increasingly expect not just physical comfort but also intellectual comfort, threats to freedom of speech are only going to become more intense. To fight back, we must understand this trend and see how students and average citizens alike are increasingly demanding freedom from speech.
Lukianoff walks readers through the life of a modern-day college student, from orientation to the end of freshman year. Through this lens, he describes startling violations of free speech rights: a student in Indiana punished for publicly reading a book, a student in Georgia expelled for a pro-environment collage he posted on Facebook, students at Yale banned from putting an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote on a T shirt, and students across the country corralled into tiny free speech zones” when they wanted to express their views.
But Lukianoff goes further, demonstrating how this culture of censorship is bleeding into the larger society. As he explores public controversies involving Juan Williams, Rush Limbaugh, Bill Maher, Richard Dawkins, Larry Summerseven Dave Barry and Jon StewartLukianoff paints a stark picture of our ability as a nation to discuss important issues rationally. Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate illuminates how intolerance for dissent and debate on today’s campus threatens the freedom of every citizen and makes us all just a little bit dumber.