Books

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… More

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… 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.

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… 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… More

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… 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.

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… More

Essays

The Political Philosophy of Isocrates

– "The Political Philosophy of Isocrates," Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Chicago, Committee on Social Thought, 1955.
It is to be remarked that it is very difficult to find a philosophic discussion of the virtue of moderation in recent times; it is also in recent times that there has been almost no real… More

Cosmopolitan Man and the Political Community: An Interpretation of Othello

– "Cosmopolitan Man and the Political Community: An Interpretation of Othello," The American Political Science Review, Vol. 54, No. 1 (March 1960), pp. 130-157.
Excerpt: Shakespeare’s explicit treatment of the possibility of an interracial, inter-faith society is given its most detailed development in his two Venetian plays, two plays which… More

Political Philosophy and Poetry: A Restatement

– "Political Philosophy and Poetry: A Restatement," The American Political Science Review, Vol. 54, No. 2  (Jun., 1960), pp. 471-473.
Excerpt: The REVIEW has been open-minded enough to publish two interpretations of Shakespeare. In these interpretations Jaffa and I argued that Shakespeare has a significant contribution to… More

Political Philosophy and Poetry

– "Political Philosophy and Poetry," The American Political Science Review, Vol. 54, No. 2 (Jun. 1960), pp. 457-464.
Encouraged by his desire to oppose Jaffa’s insistence that only great men capable of great deeds can undergo great sufferings, Burckhardt confides his own understanding of what makes… More

Shakespeare on Jew and Christian: An Interpretation of The Merchant of Venice

– "Shakespeare on Jew and Christian: An Interpretation of the Merchant of Venice," Social Research, Vol. 30, No. 1 (Spring 1963), pp. 1-22.
Excerpt: Venice was a republic; one of the few successful examples of such a political organization in its time. It had for several hundred years guarded its independence; it had an orderly… More

The Failure of the University

– "The Failure of the University," Daedalus, Vol. 103, No. 4, American Education: Toward an Uncertain Future, Volume I (Fall, 1974), pp. 58-66.
Excerpt: Tocqueville, democracy’s great friend and admirer, reminds us in this passage of the Platonic tripartite division of the soul?desire, spiritedness, and reason. Accord ing to… More

Leo Strauss: September 20, 1899-October 18, 1973

– "Leo Strauss: September 20, 1899-October 18, 1973," Political Theory, Vol. 2, No. 4 (Nov. 1974), pp. 372-392.  
Excerpt: Thus, the books of his ripeness are almost as alien to us as are the books with which he dealt. I recently re-read Thoughts on Machravelli and realized that it is not at all a book… More

Justice: John Rawls Vs. The Tradition of Political Philosophy

– "Justice: John Rawls Vs. The Tradition of Political Philosophy," review of A Theory of Justice, by John Rawls, The American Political Science Review, Vol. 69, No. 2 (June 1975), pp. 648-662.
Excerpt: John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice has attracted more attention in the Anglo-Saxon world than any work of its kind in a generation. Its vogue results from two facts: It is the… More

Review of The Social Thought of Rousseau and Burke: A Comparative Study

– Review of The Social Thought of Rousseau and Burke: A Comparative Study, by David Cameron, Canadian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 8, No. 4 (Dec. 1975), pp. 573-576.
Excerpt: The word “comparative” in the title is emphatic. Professor Cameron is comparing, not contrasting, Burke and Rousseau. The relative novelty of his study is its break… 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… 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… 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,… 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… 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… 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… 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… More

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… More

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.

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.

Commentary

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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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

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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… More

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… More

Multimedia

Reading the Republic

– "Reading the Republic," Allan Bloom, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Eric Voegelin, Frederick Lawrence, University of Toronto, 1978,
In 1978, Allan Bloom hosted the great German thinkers Eric Voegelin and Hans-Georg Gadamer at the University of Toronto for a discussion of Plato’s Republic. Must-see footage.

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.

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… 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.

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… More

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.  
   

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.