Full Bloom

– Algis Valiunas, Claremont Review of Books, Fall 2015.
Excerpt: Yet is one right to believe that Bloom represented political philosophy at its highest reach, and that he spoke for the best life possible? During the season of Bloom’s irresistible rise and rapturous supremacy, and amid the barrage of trivial and… More

Science and Non-Science in Liberal Education

– Harvey C. Mansfield, "Science and Non-Science in Liberal Education," The New Atlantis, Summer, 2013.
Excerpt: Allan Bloom in his famous book The Closing of the American Mind (1987), drawing on Max Weber, calls the “fundamental issue” of our time “the relation between reason, or science, and the human good.” I would say that in the university today… More

The Reopening of the American Mind

– Jay Schalin, "The Reopening of the American Mind," The John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, 4 July 2012.
The publication of Closing of the American Mind was followed by the 1989 appearance of Rush Limbaugh on the national airwaves and the Internet’s emergence in the early 1990s. Conservative think tanks rooted in the theories of John Locke and Adam Smith… More

Allan Bloom’s Guide to College

– Matt Feeney, "Allan Bloom’s Guide to College," New Yorker, 12 April 2012.
Excerpt: I don’t point this out to suggest Bloom was blind to these ironies. I do so  to note that he is a less reliable ally in the partisan fight against relativism  than many conservatives believe. I do so also, I suppose, to clear the ground  for a… More

Re-Opening the American Mind

– Liel Liebovitz, "Re-Opening the American Mind," Tablet, 11 April 2012.
Excerpt: The bravado hid a far more serious vein. Those who accused him of elitism, Bloom argued, were getting it all wrong. He wasn’t a cranky conservative—a “grumpy guru,” as James Atlas dubbed him—who bemoaned the infiltration of alternative… More

The Book That Drove Them Crazy

– Andrew Ferguson, "The Book That Drove Them Crazy: Allan Bloom's 'Closing of the American Mind' 25 Years Later," Weekly Standard, 9 April 2012.
Excerpt: Among much else, Bellow dramatizes the suddenness of the wealth and fame that rained down on Bloom in the late 1980s. The cause, as Bellow says, was the publication of a warlike book. Twenty-five years later, the original publisher, Simon &… More

Reforming Higher Education and the Opening of the American Mind

– Nathan Tarcov, "Reforming Higher Education and the Opening of the American Mind," The Good Society, Vol. 17, No. 2 (2008), pp. 84-85.
Excerpt: The second point I would like to make is that although Bloom directed withering criticism against the current academic trends that denied the possibility of learning from the reading of great books, which stemmed from what we can call the cultural… More

Strange Bedfellows: Allan Bloom and John Dewey Against Liberal Education

– Patrick J. Deneen, "Strange Bedfellows: Allan Bloom and John Dewey Against Liberal Education, Rightly Understood," The Good Society, Vol. 17, No. 2 (2008), pp. 49-55.
Excerpt: The educational theories of Allan Bloom and John Dewey could not apparently be more at odds. Bloom argued on behalf of the aspiration of philosophy to apprehend the truth, even if through a glass darkly. Dewey argued, in contrast, that philosophy was… More

On Allan Bloom by Michael Zuckert

– Michael Zuckert, "On Allan Bloom," The Good Society, Vol. 17, No. 2 (2008), pp. 81-83.
Excerpt: As Bloom sees it, students, and their education, are victims of the spread of liberal Enlightenment ideas, which have come to undermine the structure of relationships that under-girded and are needed to under-gird a healthy society capable of… More

Allan Bloom and America by Thomas West

– Thomas G. West, "Allan Bloom and America," Claremont Review of Books, 19 November 2007.
Excerpt: Nietzsche, one of Bloom’s authorities on the current malaise, rightly points out the debilitating effect of Great Books education in our world, in a passage I first read during a course I took with Bloom at Cornell in 1965. Such an education,… More

“The Closing of the American Mind,” Revisited

– S. J. D. Green, "The Closing of the American Mind, Revisited," The Antioch Review, Vol. 56, No. 1, Our Therapeutic State (Winter 1998), pp. 26-36.
Excerpt: Take heed of the subtitle: How Higher Edcation Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students. For that is what the book is really about. Moreover, in that sense, a lot in the text is literal. Certainly it is best read… More

Erotic Adventures of the Mind by Diana Schaub

– Diana Schaub, "Erotic Adventures of the Mind," Public Interest, Winter 1994.
Excerpt: It is this “fall of eros” which Bloom addresses. If The Closing of the American Mind diagnosed the problem, Love and Friendship delivers the cure. It is not an institutional cure — not, for instance, a proposal for a Great Books curriculum. It… More

Remembering Allan Bloom

– Clifford Orwin, "Remembering Allan Bloom," The American Scholar, Vol. 62, No. 3 (Summer 1993), pp. 423-430.
Excerpt: The least fair of all the accusations later leveled against Allan was that he was an ideologue. Like all of us, he harbored inclinations in that direction, inclinations all the more powerful in a man of such incandescent passion. He could be… More

Reflections on Bloom and His Critics by Peter Lawler

– Peter Lawler, "Reflections on Bloom and His Critics," The Journal of General Education, Vol. 41 (1992), pp. 273-285.
Excerpt: The many, it turns out, are less consistently democratic than the few. Radical anti-elitism or egalitarianism is the doctrine of those defining themselves by their devotion to ideas, the intellectuals. Intellectuals, in our democracy as in… More

An Intellectual Best-Seller Revisited

– Sidney Hook, "An Intellectual Best-Seller Revisited," review of The Closing of the American Mind, by Allan Bloom, The American Scholar, Vol. 58, No. 1 (Winter 1989), pp.  123, 126-128, 130-132, 134-135.
Excerpt: This denial of the truth about the rampaging students of the sixties is reflected even in the most respectable of the critical reviews Bloom has received. Among the most disappointing of the reviews from a philosophical source is Martha… More

Review of The Closing of the American Mind

– Sheldon Wolin, review of The Closing of the American Mind, Theory and Society, Vol. 18, No. 2 (Mar. 1989), pp. 273-282.
Excerpt: Moreover, Bloom deceives his readership by failing to own up to the hornet’s nest of complications that arises once so much is wagered on a rejection of “openness” and “cultural relativism.”(T he irony here, that only… More

Undemocratic Vistas

– Martha Nussbaum, "Undemocratic Vistas," review of The Closing of the American Mind, by Allan Bloom, New York Review of Books, 31 March 1988.
Excerpt: 1) Philosophical education is practical. It is the rational search for the best human life. Its subject is, above all, the study of moral and social conceptions, and its purpose (as Musonius later makes plain) is, through reflection, the amelioration… More

Books of the Times: Review of the Closing of the American Mind

– Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, "Books of the Times: Review of The Closing of the American Mind," New York Times, 23 March 1987.
Excerpt: ALLAN BLOOM fools you in his remarkable new book, ”The Closing of the American Mind,” which hits with the approximate force and effect of what electric-shock therapy must be like. He begins by describing contemporary college students… More