The Closing of the American Mind

The Closing of the American Mind

How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students

Paperback - 1987
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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. Book jacket.
Publisher: New York ; Toronto ; Simon & Schuster, c1987.
ISBN: 9780671479909
Characteristics: 392 pages ;,25 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jul 31, 2011

Writing in 1987, university professor Allan Bloom writes about a fundamental shift in the mindset of young adults over the course of his teaching career. Whereas decades earlier they would come to the university with a sense of expectation that they would actually learn truths about the big questions, that becoming wise was a virtue, a lofty goal that was nonetheless attainable, Bloom observes that the more recent students have lost that sense of wonder, that desire to become a whole human being. Instead, it seems that they come in with greatly lowered expectations and passion for learning.

The problem, according to Bloom, isn't so much the embrace of relativism with its denial of objective truth, but the unthinking dogmatism with which it is held. A large part of the blame goes to the universities themselves, whose humanities departments have embraced this way of thinking themselves.

This is a very difficult book, but if the reader is willing to invest the time and effort, the reward is a big-picture view of the history of thought, beginning with Locke, Hobbes, and Rousseau, and culminating in Nietzsche, that makes sense of the radical change in the intellectual climate.

Bloom not only offers a thorough diagnosis, but also some ideas which could lead to the restoration of liberal education.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at my library

To Top