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The Closing of the American Mind
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The Closing of the American Mind

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  3,964 Ratings  ·  378 Reviews
Foreword
Students
The clean slate
Books
Music
Relationships
Nihilism, American style
The German connection
Two revolutions & two states of nature
The self
Creativity
Culture
Values
The Nietzcheanization of the left or vice versa
Our ignorance
The university
From Socrates Apology to Heidegger's Rektoratsrede
The Sixties
The student & the university
Index
Hardcover
Published by Simon & Schuster (first published December 1987)
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Wayne
Jul 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps this book deserves five stars -- it did, after all, shake me up a bit, the way the best books do. Bloom is rightly concerned with a problem I see in my own classrooms: the assumption that, since all views are to be tolerated in our modern liberal democracy, all views are equally valuable; furthermore, since all ideas are equally worthy of consideration, none of them are worthy of consideration. It is difficult to say anything of real importance about poetry, literature, art, religion, ph ...more
booklady
Jun 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any college bound student
Bloom's 1987 bestseller is still relevant today. In it he critiques the American education system for removing the Great Books from the required reading in most colleges. Booklady that I am, I couldn't agree with him more. The Great Books should be read and in the originals, not in watered down or abridged versions--however much modern students complain about Dickens being repetitive, etc. If they absolutely cannot force their eyes to follow the words on the page, then get the audio versions of ...more
blakeR
This is the best argument for conservatism I've ever read. To be fair, it's also the only one I've ever read, outside of the occasional David Brooks column. And let's be honest: Bloom is about as elitist and conservative as you can get. But he makes the position seem very enticing with his brilliant argumentation and his penetrating logic as he delves into the state of the late 20th century American citizen. It doesn't hurt that he has a staggering breadth of knowledge on just about every single ...more
Paul Rhodes
Allan Bloom's Closing of the American Mind was published twenty years ago this month. Parents gave this book to their kids upon graduation from high school to warn them against the moral rot they would encounter at the modern university. I received this book from my uncle (may God rest his soul!) when I was graduated in 1986 but did not read it until after I suffered through the collegiate moral rot from which this book was supposed to rescue me.

Of course, I did not need Allan Bloom to tell me t
...more
Trevor
Feb 02, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: social-theory
I know nothing about American Universities and so when Bloom says things about the lowering of standards to accommodate black students who have been admitted without the requisite standard of education to succeed I just assume this is standard racist crap. But I’m really not in any position to argue one way or the other.

He certainly doesn’t waste time supporting any of his arguments with facts, mostly just vitriol. In fact, this book is so full of bile that after a while the need to spit become
...more
Joshuacitrak
Allan Bloom is a hysterical, raving, reactionary lunatic. he and his academia ilk are exactly the reason why education teaches kids nothing, because they know absolutely zero about the children they're supposed to teach. mostly, this book is little more than a "get off my lawn" diatribe against any and all (race, sex, drugs, rock music) youth fascinations, blaming each of them in turn for the "Closing of the American Mind."

Bloom continually condescends in the most irritating manner of the Americ
...more
Scott Rhee
I was in eighth grade when the late Allan Bloom's 1987 seminal classic "The Closing of the American Mind" was published. I remembered it because my parents, like thousands of other parents across the country, bought it and put it on the bookshelf proudly. And there it sat, unread, for almost two decades.

I wish that I had read it before I had gone off to college, but I will be honest, I probably wouldn't have understood it. I don't pretend to completely understand everything in it now, at age 40
...more
Angela
I steadily read this book a few pages, sometimes even a few paragraphs, at a time for about two months. On page 160, I decided to give it up.

Mr. Bloom's politics and mine are totally incompatible.

At the risk of oversimplifying his thesis, I fail to see how short skirts, rock & roll, and encouraging college students to have open minds has (to quote the subtitle) "...Failed Democracy And Impoverished The Souls Of Today's Students." I believe one of the purposes of a liberal arts education is t
...more
Ahmad Abdul Rahim
Buku ini teramatlah payah untuk dibaca. Aku harus mengakui bahawa aku tidak memahami kebanyakan perkara yg disebutkan pengarang. Tentang Nietzsche-sasi, Heideggernisasi; minda-budaya Jerman yang telah menerobos masuk ke dalam kesedaran universiti2 di Amerika; signifikasi zaman 60-an kepada kelangsungan universiti sebagai pendukung kersarjanaan ilmu di Amerika. Jarak topik yang disentuh penulis begitu luas. Setiap satunya pula mempunyai medan makna dan sejarah yang tersendiri. Buku ini dikatakan ...more
sologdin
Nov 28, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
was expecting this to be a more charming version of Kimball's awful Tenured Radicals, but it is rather much more rigorous and thoughtful. that said, am still reading it as 'wrong.'

author reveals his major malfunction late in the text, which occurred during a campus altercation wherein certain left activists occupied university buildings and apparently took hostages of university personnel. this event, and university's failure to discipline, soured author on entire left project in the '60s, if i
...more
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  • Ideas Have Consequences
  • The Tempting of America
  • Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know
  • Natural Right and History
  • God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of 'Academic Freedom'
  • Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus
  • The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot
  • Teacher in America
  • Intellectuals and Society
  • Leisure: The Basis Of Culture
  • Within the Context of No Context
  • Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties
  • The Last Intellectuals: American Culture in the Age of Academe
  • Witness
  • The Idea of a University
  • The Shadow University: The Betrayal Of Liberty On America's Campuses
  • Anti-Intellectualism in American Life
  • A Child of the Century
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Allan David Bloom was an American philosopher, essayist and academic. Bloom championed the idea of 'Great Books' education, as did his mentor Leo Strauss. Bloom became famous for his criticism of contemporary American higher education, with his views being expressed in his bestselling 1987 book, The Closing of the American Mind.
More about Allan Bloom...
“The failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency -- the belief that the here and now is all there is.” 279 likes
“Picture a thirteen-year-old boy sitting in the living room of his family home doing his math assignment while wearing his Walkman headphones or watching MTV. He enjoys the liberties hard won over centuries by the alliance of philosophic genius and political heroism, consecrated by the blood of martyrs; he is provided with comfort and leisure by the most productive economy ever known to mankind; science has penetrated the secrets of nature in order to provide him with the marvelous, lifelike electronic sound and image reproduction he is enjoying. And in what does progress culminate? A pubescent child whose body throbs with orgasmic rhythms; whose feelings are made articulate in hymns to the joys of onanism or the killing of parents; whose ambition is to win fame and wealth in imitating the drag-queen who makes the music. In short, life is made into a nonstop, commercially prepackaged masturbational fantasy.” 32 likes
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