Books

Giants and Dwarfs

Giants and Dwarfs: Essays, 1960-1990, Simon and Schuster, 1990.
Excerpt: And we may further suppose that Gulliver has certain hidden thoughts and intentions which are only to be revealed by closely cross-examining him. He indicates this himself at the close of his travels when he swears to his veracity. He uses for this… More

Confronting the Constitution

Confronting the Constitution: The Challenge to Locke, Montesquieu, Jefferson, and the Federalists from Utilitarianism, Historicism, Marxism, Freudianism, Pragmatism, Exististentialism..., ed. Allan Bloom, American Enterprise Institute, 1990.

The Closing of the American Mind

The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students, with a foreword by Saul Bellow, Simon & Schuster, 1987.  Reprint, Simon & Schuster, 2012.
Excerpt: I used to think that young Americans began whatever education they were to get at the age of eighteen, that their early lives were spiritually empty and that they arrived at the university clean slates unaware of their deeper tires and the world… More

The Crisis of American Democracy and Liberal Education

The Crisis of American Democracy and Liberal Education: Collected Essays, 1986.
Excerpt: Therefore a truly political judgment is maintained so long as the issues are matters of life and death. Policy orientation helps keep the focus which we are too likely to lose. It risks degenerating into journalism or pre-occupation with daily… More

Rousseau’s Emile

– Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile: or On Education, translated with notes and an introduction by Allan Bloom, Basic Books, 1979.
Excerpt: Here then we have Rousseau’s response to Plato. Plato said that all men always begin by being prisoners in the cave. The cave is civil society considered in its effect on the mind of those who belong to it. Their needs, fears, hopes, and… More

Kojeve’s Introduction to the Reading of Hegel

– Alexandre Kojeve, Introduction to the Reading of Hegel: Lectures on the Phenomenology of Spirit, trans. James. H. Nichols, Jr., ed. Allan Bloom, Basic Books, 1969.  Reprint: Cornell University Press (Agora Editions), 1980.

The Republic of Plato

The Republic of Plato, translated with notes and an interpretive essay by Allan Bloom, Basic Books, 1968.  Second edition: Basic Books, 1991.
Excerpt: The Republic is the true Apology of Socrates, for only in the Republic does he give an adequate treatment of the theme which was forced on him by Athens’ accusation against him. That theme is the relationship of the philosopher to the political… More

Shakespeare’s Politics

Shakespeare's Politics, with Harry V. Jaffa, Basic Books, 1964.  Reprint, University of Chicago Press, 1981.
Excerpt: Shakespeare has set his plays in many nations and at various times in history. This is a good beginning for the investigation of his teaching, for various nations encourage various virtues in men; one cannot find every kind of man in any particular… More

Essays

The Ladder of Love

– "The Ladder of Love," Plato's Symposium, trans. Seth Benardete, University of Chicago Press, 2001. First published in Love and Friendship, Simon and Schuster, 1993.

The Political Philosopher in Democratic Society

– "The Political Philosopher in Democratic Society: The Socratic View," The Roots of Political Philosophy: Ten Socratic Dialogues, Thomas L. Pangle, ed., Cornell University Press, 1987.

How Nietzsche Conquered America

– "How Nietzsche Conquered America," The Wilson Quarterly, Vol. 11, No. 3 (Summer 1987), pp. 80-93.
Excerpt: Modern democracy was, of course, the target of Nietzsche’s criticism.A s he saw it, rationalisma nd its egalitarianismw ere the contrary of creativity; daily life was for him the civilized reanimalization of man; nobody really believed in… More

Raymond Aron: The Last of the Liberals

– "Raymond Aron: The Last of the Liberals," New Criterion, September 1985.
Excerpt: A few weeks ago, when I was in Paris, I went to have lunch at my friend Jean-Claude Casanova’s home. As I entered the great doors of the building on the Boulevard St. Michel, I had one of those experiences which only an American amateur of things… More

Reply to Burnyeat

– "The Studies of Leo Strauss: An Exchange," New York Review of Books, 30 May 1985.
Excerpt: M.F. Burnyeat’s attempt to wake a sleeping America to the political threat posed to it by the late Leo Strauss is McCarthyite in the precise sense of the term. His calumny culminates in disgraceful innuendo about Carnes Lord, whose service on the… More

Our Listless Universities

– "Our Listless Universities," Change, Vol. 15, No. 3 (Apr. 1983), pp. 29-35.
Excerpt: I begin with my conclusion: students in our best universities do not believe in anything, and those universities are do-ing nothing about it, nor can they. An easy-going American kind of nihilism has descended upon us, a nihilism without terror of… More

Richard II

– "Richard II," Shakespeare as Political Thinker, edited by John Alvis and Thomas G. West, Carolina Academic Press, 1981, pp. 51-61.
Excerpt: Shakespeare not only presents us with the spectacle of a man becoming a god (Julius Caesar) but in Richard II also permits us to witness a god becoming a man. As a consequence of what one might call political logic, Richard was thought to be, and… More

The Education of Democratic Man: Emile

– "The Education of Democratic Man: Emile," Daedalus, Vol. 107, No. 3, Rousseau for Our Time (Summer 1978), pp. 135-153.
Excerpt: Thus Emile is one of those rare total or synoptic books, a book with which one can live and which becomes deeper as one becomes deeper, a book comparable to Plato’s Republic, which it is meant to rival or supersede. But it is not recognized as… More

Review of Rousseau’s Political Philosophy: An Interpretation from Within

– Review of Rousseau's Political Philosophy: An Interpretation from Within, by Stephen Ellenburg, Canadian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Jun 1978), pp. 485-486.
Excerpt: In spite of its title, this book does not give the impression of penetrating to the core of Rousseau’s arguments or his sensibility. Rather it presents a somewhat superficial and homogenized survey of Rousseau’s explicitly political… More

Response to Hall

– "Response to Hall," Political Theory, Vol. 5, No. 3 (Aug. 1977), pp. 315-330.
Excerpt: In the first place, Hall presupposes that he knows the Platonic teaching and reads his understanding of it into the text. Arguing against my contention that the best regime of the Republic is not a serious proposal, he tells us, “Socrates is… More

Multimedia

James Ceaser on Allan Bloom

– James Ceaser, "Conversations with Bill Kristol," March 3, 2015.
University of Virginia professor James Ceaser discusses great teachers including James Q. Wilson, Irving Kristol, Walter Berns, and Allan Bloom.

Conference on the 25th Anniversary of The Closing of the American Mind

– Conference on the 25th anniversary of Allan Bloom's bestseller The Closing of the American Mind, hosted by the Program on Constitutional Government at Harvard University, 21 Sept. 2012. The first panel is on Students and is chaired by Arthur Melzer, with Kathryn Sensen, James Hankins, and Paul Cantor as speakers. The second panel is on the University and is chaired by R. Shep Melnick, with Nannerl Keohane, Rita Koganzon, and James Piereson. The third panel is chaired by William Kristol and features Margaret Soltan, Michael Davis and Nasser Behnegar as speakers.  
   

Allan Bloom’s Closing of the American Mind Twenty-Five Years Later

– "Allan Bloom's Closing of the American Mind Twenty-Five Years Later: The Continuing Failure of Higher Education?," panel discussion with Nathan Tarcov, Bill Kristol, Hillel Fradkin, Janet Dougherty, moderated by John Walters, hosted by the Hudson Institute, Washington, DC, 15 June 2012.
Twenty-five years ago, Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students offered a thorough indictment of American colleges and universities. Bloom attacked… More

The Historical Context of Allan Bloom

– "The Historical Context of Allan Bloom," panel discussion with James Ceaser, James Miller, John Tomasi and John McWhorter, hosted by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, C-SPAN, 3 October 2007.

The Legacy of Allan Bloom

– "The Legacy of Allan Bloom," panel discussion with Werner Dannhauser, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Joseph Bottum and MaryAnn McGrail, hosted by the Hudson Institute, C-SPAN, 18 May 2000.
Panel members discussed author Saul Bellow’s novel Ravelstein, a fictionalized account of the author’s friendship with professor of political philosophy Allan Bloom, best-selling author of The Closing of the American Mind. After their prepared remarks,… More

The Open Mind

– Interview with Allan Bloom, The Open Mind, PBS, 7 June 1987.
Watch The Closing of the American Mind on PBS. See more from The Open Mind.