I have just read this new book and enjoyed it very much, and I highly recommend it: easy to read, realistically detailed, and thoughtful in its analysis and recommendations. For a flavor of the argument, see This is a sub-post. Here are a few jacket blurbs from others:
This provocative book presents compelling stories about cancel culture and its devastating impact on a wide range of Americans. It draws on detailed databases to refute persistent attempts to downplay the problem and shows that destructive cancellations of speech are committed by people from across the ideological spectrum. Most importantly, it identifies steps we can all take to replace cancel culture with a culture of free expression. It should be a game changer in the culture wars.
– Nadine Strossen, Former President of the American Civil Liberties Union
For many, the correct way to cancel culture is to either just make a sensationalist point by some contrarians or just duly fire the bad people. or not. Read this book and discover what the scourge of cancel culture is, and what we can do to overcome it.
—John McWhorter, professor of linguistics at Columbia University The New York Times columnist
The growing system of censorship, slander, and punishment against anyone who questions establishment orthodoxy traps us in error and erodes the credibility of our institutions. No one has more thoroughly documented the facts and reasons behind this alarming trend than Greg Lukianoff, joined here by his collaborator Ricky Schlott, who refutes accusations that the younger generation has been hijacked by authoritarians.
—Steven Pinker, Johnston Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and bestselling author Enlightenment now And Rationality.
“Cancel culture” has long resisted serious analysis, in part because adherents of the phenomenon shield it from investigation by coding it as fantasy or right-wing fiction. But Greg Lukianoff and Ricky Schlott dig below the surface of this problem and confront a deeper problem: the all-too-rapid erosion of America’s once-thriving culture of free speech. The authors believe that censorship is the natural tendency of humanity. After a short period of flirting with Enlightenment values, is the world regressing to the middle? There is no political topic more important or frightening today, and we owe Lukianov and Schlott a great debt to address this topic head-on.
—Matt Taibbi, award-winning author and investigative reporter
Greg Lukianoff and Ricky Schlott are doing Americans an invaluable service by dispelling the stupid myth that “cancel culture doesn’t exist.” “Cancel culture” is real and very dangerous—and this book is the most comprehensive look at the rot that threatens our institutions and freedoms.
—Ben Shapiro, founder The daily wire
John Stuart Mill, in On freedomHe warned that social coercion could pose a greater threat to free thought than government censorship. He didn’t use the phrase “cancel culture,” but that’s what he was talking about. in Abolish the Americans Mind, Greg Lukianoff, and Ricky Schlott have updated Mill’s classic for our times. Through fascinating stories and a wealth of data, they show how bigoted activists are imposing a ban on the rest of us—and how the rest of us can lift it.
-Jonathan Rauch, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author Constitution of knowledge
Not since the McCarthy era have so many people been afraid to express their opinions on crucial issues. Today, the situation is arguably worse, as the main enforcer of ideological conformity is no longer the government, but rather citizens and private institutions. in Abolition of the American mindGreg Lukianoff and Ricky Schlott ably diagnose the threat this atmosphere of dogmatism poses to a free society and offer solutions for how to replace cruel and intolerant cancel culture with a generous and constructive culture of free expression.
—James Kirchick, bestselling author Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington
Note that I have consulted for FIRE (run by Lukianoff) before, but I was not involved in creating the book.