Item description for The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom & Saul Bellow...
Overview A critique of the intellectual and moral confusions of this age argues that the social/political crisis of twentieth-century America is actually an intellectual crisis, and shows how American democracy has hosted ideas of nihilism, despair, and relativism disguised as tolerance
Publishers Description 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.
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Studio: Simon & Schuster
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.23" Width: 5.3" Height: 1.02" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date May 15, 1988
Publisher Simon & Schuster
ISBN 0671657151 ISBN13 9780671657154
Availability 0 units.
More About Allan Bloom & Saul Bellow
Allan Bloom, 1930-1992, was a professor of social thought at the University of Chicago. He was the author of many books, including the number one bestseller The Closing of the American Mind. Adam Kirsch is a poet and critic whose work appears regularly in the New York Review of Books, New Yorker, Tablet, and other publications. The author of three books of poems and several books of criticism and biography, Kirsch lives in New York City.
Allan Bloom lived in the state of Illinois. Allan Bloom died in 1992.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Closing of the American Mind?
Book review: Jun 2, 2008
This book was suggested for me to read by a friend. It was a cumbersome read about 400 some odd pages and I knocked it out in a few weeks.
Harold Bloom goes to great lengths salivating over the works of brilliant thinkers of the past. Ancient Philosophers such as Socrates 399BC, Plato 347 BC, Aristotle 332 BC and Cicero 43 BC are referenced often. More modern thinkers, philosophers and writers such as Machiavelli, 1527 AD, Descartes 1650 AD, Locke 1704 AD, Goethe 1832 AD, Nietzsche 1900 AD, are also sited often as well.
Bloom comes across as a conflicted agnostic, not wanting to embrace the ideal of intrinsic value in human beings, but not totally dismissing the ideal either. He plays it safe, acknowledging that human beings may have a soul, but stops there by making no conclusions, because in the end he really can't.
He wants excellence back in college education but offers no real remedy to get there; he only laments the ill effects of post modernism, nihilism and other soul less characteristics of present day academia. Bloom seems to have great compunction for having no solutions within his grasp. He elucidates nothing in his 400 pages; he almost like a professor who loves to hear himself speak, (think Ben Stine character in Ferris Bueller movie), but much more of an self ennobling, aristocratic, intellectual with a splendid command of the English language. Bloom has an impious, intransigent view for the believers in Deity, which I think leaves him coming up short in all his postulations. He is masterful at polemics and seems to find vigor and great joy in ruffling feathers. In the end a call to action or a conclusion to all the problems Bloom raises is untenable. It seems that he trusts in the opinions of the finite, i.e.-men, philosophers of the world, when truth is eternal and springs from our Creator, which he is loathe to approach......much less acknowledge.
In conclusion the best and most telling quote found very early in the book is here:
"I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing." Socrates
And this quote is what Blooms seems to hang his hat on, gaining his readers nothing.
Important Critique of the University May 27, 2008
Philosopher Allan Bloom's groundbreaking book, "The Closing of the American Mind," skillfully describes what has gone wrong with the university. Stuck in relativism and leaving behind the great thinkers of the past, the modern university has drifted from any sort of moorings and is in the process of decomposition. I most enjoyed the first section of the book. The second half of the book is more dense and a knowledge of Plato, Nietzsche, Hegel, Rousseau, Heidegger, etc., is recommended for a full comprehension of the subject. The argument in this book is still very timely even though it is over 20 years old.
With Gratitude May 27, 2008
I read this book in my final year of grad school in geology. It explained most reasons for my intellectual and ethical frustration with my entire college experience, in which I had found the academic system to be shockingly and willfully ignorant, totalitarian-restrictive, and corrupt.
My college experience was 20% Milovan Djilas, 80% Allan Bloom, capped by a thesis defense out of Martin Luther, all in William Burroughs' unconstituted police state.
This book is essential reading for any student who doesn't want his mind destroyed. I am eternally grateful to Allan Bloom for writing it.
Education via political opinion May 7, 2008
Wordy, harsh with limited acceptance for growing history. Book arrived in excellent shape and in a timely manner
The Closing of the American Mind Dec 18, 2007
It is a thought provoking book. I read it for a class and probably would have not chose it on my own. It is heavy reading and quite complicated. I would suggest really knowing a lot about Nietzche, Plato, Kant, etc. before you read this book, because this is a review of the philosophers thoughts and this author's opinion of the American education system. It is definately worth reading, but just expect to read it slow and re-read things to really get an undertanding of what your reading.