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.
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 literally. This was also true, I now believe, of Bloom himself. He was not a conservative. I can be sure of this not because I knew him (I did not), but because he said so. During his famous (or notorious) commencement address at Harvard in 1988 (“My Fellow Elitists”) he made the point clear enough: “I am not a conservative-neo or paleo-I say this not to curry favor in a setting where conservatism is out of favor. Conservatism is a respectable outlook, and its adherents usually have some firmness of character to stick by what is unpopular in universities. I just do not happen to be that animal. Any superficial reading of my book will show that I differ from both theoretical and practical conservative positions. My teachers- Socrates, Machiavelli, Rousseau and Nietzsche-could hardly be called conservatives.”