The Closing of the American Mind

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

Allan Bloom

Recommended By

Book Synopsis

"The Closing of the American Mind" by Allan Bloom is a provocative and influential work that critiques the state of education and cultural relativism in American society.

Bloom argues that the American mind has progressively shut itself off from the pursuit of transcendent values, leading to a narrow focus on personal desires and a loss of connection with the past. He examines how the rise of popular culture, particularly in the form of rock music, has contributed to this decline and weakened the ability of individuals to engage with high culture and intellectual exploration.

Bloom also critiques the liberal education system, stating that it often fails to impart foundational knowledge and critical thinking skills, resulting in students who lack a deep understanding of Western philosophy and history. He suggests that the emphasis on relativism and the rejection of moral absolutes in academia produces graduates who are intellectually closed-off and unable to engage with complex ideas or consider alternative perspectives.

By exploring various philosophical, historical, and literary works, Bloom offers a passionate call for a return to the principles of the Enlightenment and a rediscovery of the great achievements of Western civilization. He argues that this reengagement with the classics and higher education can help individuals regain a sense of purpose, moral clarity, and intellectual depth.

"The Closing of the American Mind" serves as a thought-provoking critique of contemporary American culture and education, challenging readers to reconsider their assumptions and advocate for a more rigorous and intellectually vibrant society.

Explore More Books

See All
Natural Capitalism
The Uterus Is a Feature, Not a Bug
The Story of Civilization: The Age of Louis XIV
Self Reliance
The Hard Thing About Hard Things
Altars of Unhewn Stone
The Varieties of Religious Experience
Accidental Presidents
The Science of Conjecture
The Gifts of Imperfection
One of a Kind
Am I Being Too Subtle?
Hell Yeah or No
The Wealth of Nations
Benjamin Franklin
The Power of Full Engagement
Anthropic Bias
Old Man and the Sea
The Tao of Charlie Munger
Good Economics For Hard Times
Team of Teams
The Venture Mindset
When Money Dies
Now, Discover Your Strengths
Modelling Extremal Events
Changes in the Land
Tuxedo Park
Profile of a Nation
The Golden Compass
The Last Lion
Survival to Thrival
Benjamin Franklin
Competition Demystified
The Botany of Desire
Bad Blood
An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth
Innovating Out of Crisis
The Reluctant Mr. Darwin
The First Conspiracy
Founders at Work
The Power of Myth
Monetizing Innovation
The Aspirational Investor
Nixon Agonistes
Strength In Stillness
How to Read a Book
The Neverending Story
A Guide To Econometrics
To Dare and to Conquer
Follow The Money
Homo Deus
A Guide To The Good Life
The Snow Leopard
A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis
Screw Business As Usual
The Art of War
The Three Marriages
Intellectual Life in the Middle Ages
More From Less
The River of Doubt
The Start-up of You
The Body Keeps The Score
A Year with Rumi
Keeping At It
Getting to Maybe
Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln
Zorba the Greek
Ghost Fleet
King of Capital
Models. Behaving. Badly.
Nothing To Lose
No Applause - Just Throw Money
Something Deeply Hidden
The Hate U Give
Who Really Matters
Who's In Charge
The Great Rupture
The Role of the Individual in History
The Book of Nothing
High Growth Handbook
The Old Way
The Agile Gene
Mathematician's Delight
The Feynman Lectures on Physics
The Score Takes Care of Itself
7 Powers
The Law
The Lord of the Rings
The Dip
The Wealth and Poverty of Nations
The Song Machine
Steal Like an Artist
Gang Leader for a Day
Out of Mao's Shadow
Mycelium Running