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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
University of Virginia professor James Ceaser discusses great teachers including James Q. Wilson, Irving Kristol, Walter Berns, and Allan Bloom.
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
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
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Allan Bloom joins William F. Buckley to discuss The Closing of the American Mind.