Synopses & Reviews
THE BRILLIANT AND CONTROVERSIAL CRITIQUE OF AMERICAN CULTURE WITH NEARLY A MILLION COPIES IN PRINT
In 1987, eminent political philosopher Allan Bloom published The Closing of the American Mind, an appraisal of contemporary America that “hits with the approximate force and effect of electroshock therapy” (The New York Times) and has not only been vindicated, but has also become more urgent today. In clear, spirited prose, Bloom argues that the social and political crises of contemporary America are part of a larger intellectual crisis: the result of a dangerous narrowing of curiosity and exploration by the university elites.
Now, in this twenty-fifth anniversary edition, acclaimed author and journalist Andrew Ferguson contributes a new essay that describes why Blooms argument caused such a furor at publication and why our culture so deeply resists its truths today.
"Brilliant....No other book combines such shrewd insights into our current state....No other book is at once so lively and so deep, so witty and so thoughtful, so outrageous and so sensible, so amusing and so chilling....An extraordinary book." Wall Street Journal
"Remarkable....hits with the approximate force and effect of electroshock therapy." New York Times
"Rich and absorbing....A grand tour of the American mind." The Washington Post Book World
The New York Times Book Review An unparalleled reflection on today's intellectual and moral climate....That rarest of documents, a genuinely profound book.
The Closing of the American Mind, a publishing phenomenon in hardcover, is now a paperback literary event. In this acclaimed number one national best-seller, one of our country's most distinguished political philosophers argues that the social/political crisis of 20th-century America is really an intellectual crisis. Allan Bloom's sweeping analysis is essential to understanding America today. It has fired the imagination of a public ripe for change.
About the Author
Allan Bloom is Professor in the Committee on Social Thought and the College and co-director of the John M. Olin Center for Inquiry into the Theory and Practice of Democracy at the University of Chicago. He has taught at Yale, University of Paris, University of Toronto, Tel Aviv University, and Cornell, where he was the recipient of the Clark Teaching Award in 1967. His other books are Plato's Republic (translator and editor), Politics and the Arts: Rousseau's Letter to d'Alembert (translator and editor), Rousseau's Emile (translator and editor), and Shakespeare's Politics (with Harry V. Jaffa).
Table of Contents
Foreword by Saul Bellow
Introduction: Our Virtue
PART ONE. STUDENTS
The Clean Slate
PART TWO. NIHILISM, AMERICAN STYLE
The German Connection
Two Revolutions and Two States of Nature
The Nietzscheanization of the Left or Vice Versa
PART THREE. THE UNIVERSITY
From Socrates' Apology to Heidegger's Rektoratsrede
Tocqueville on Democratic Intellectual Life
The Relation Between Thought and Civil Society
The Philosophic Experience
The Enlightenment Transformation
Rousseau's Radicalization and the German University
The Student and the University
The Decomposition of the University