Chronicle of Higher Education critic-at-large Carlin Romano praises FIRE President Greg Lukianoff’s book, Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate, in a piece published in “The Chronicle Review” today. Romano writes that the book is “underappreciated” and provides a big-picture view of how American universities stifle speech in the name of comfort and preventing offense.
Reflecting on his classroom, Romano, professor of philosophy at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania, has seen the benefits of the kind of robust, uninhibited debate Lukianoff calls for in Unlearning Liberty:
Over the spring, listening to my students debate gay marriage, prostitution, polyamory, monogamy, loyalty, love at first sight, and enough fetishes to shock a stadium full of anxious parents, I came to understand something crucial: Allowing students to speak without fear, without concerns about being immediately sanctioned (as opposed to criticized) for a bad choice of words, or unpopular conviction, or dumb joke, provoked divergent voices and changed many minds.
The whole review can be read here.