Allan Bloom died in 1992, but after reading The Closing of the American Mind you’ll wonder what he might have thought about universities today. The subtitle, How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students says it all. In his 1987 book, Bloom, then a professor of political science and philosophy at the University of Chicago, issues a scathing critique of how America educates its young people and the decline of intellectuality in national life in general. He critiques the contemporary university, saying it is failing students. A chief point of Bloom’s argument is that the “great books” of Western thought — those by philosophers such as Rousseau, Locke and Nietzsche whose names are better known than their theories — have been devalued as a source of wisdom in favor of professors who “simply would not and could not talk about anything important.” For anyone who cares about the state of higher education in the U.S., Bloom’s insight puts his treatise high on the list of great books.
Autobiography / Memoir
Self-Help / Instructional