Steven's Reviews > The Closing of the American Mind

The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
May 12, 2009

liked it
Read in January, 1997

I remember being fascinated by this book for much of 1997. I read it with a highlighter and a pen, writing notes in the margins and outlining each chapter. I read hundreds of pages, but then I just never bothered to finish. The trouble is that the material is exceptionally dense, with too little payoff.

Certainly I agree with Bloom about the problems in American education. But I don't agree with his position on what an ideal education would look like. Having been an actor and an English teacher, I love Shakespeare and quote him when possible. But Bloom has a personal love of Shakespeare and Plato that seems to elevate the two beyond reasonable proportion.

While Bloom's analysis and diagnosis is largely accurate, I much prefer the prescription provided by E.D. Hirsch in his CULTURAL LITERACY. The difference is that Hirsch has a more objective model, based not on his own taste but on a systematic review of what has been regarded as worthy of study be the previous generation.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Closing of the American Mind.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.