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For over a generation, shocking cases of censorship at America’s colleges and universities have taught students the wrong lessons about living in a free society. Drawing on a decade of experience battling for freedom of speech on campus, First Amendment lawyer Greg Lukianoff reveals how higher education fails to teach students to become critical thinkers: by stifling open debate, our campuses are supercharging ideological divisions, promoting groupthink, and encouraging an unscholarly certainty about complex issues.
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.
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About the Author
Greg Lukianoff is an attorney and president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. His writings on campus free speech have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, in addition to dozens of other publications. A regular columnist for the Huffington Post, he is a frequent guest on nationally syndicated radio programs and has made numerous television appearances, including on the CBS Evening News 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. Lukianoff is a graduate of American University and Stanford Law School.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An eye-openning book for students about to embark on their college careers as well as their parents. The book documents the erosian of free speech in colleges campuses. As a parent who witnessed radically different free speech experiences in her own college life, it was a humbling to read and realize that our childen do not enjoy or even understand what free speech really means and that, sadly, we are a big part of the problem. It is difficult to envision students of the '60s tolerating creepy "free speech zones" that encompass less than 1% of the college or allowing the power of school administrators to concentrate and grow stronger so that it corrupts and undermines one of the central principles of our American constitution: free speech.