Best Allan Bloom books

Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students

Allan Bloom

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The brilliant, controversial, bestselling critique of American culture that “hits with the approximate force and effect of electroshock therapy” (The New York Times)—now featuring a new afterword by Andrew Ferguson in a twenty-fifth anniversary edition.

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 Bloom’s argument caused such a furor at publication and why our culture so deeply resists its truths today.

The Republic of Plato

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Long regarded as the most accurate rendering of Plato's Republic that has yet been published, this widely acclaimed work is the first strictly literal translation of a timeless classic. In addition to the annotated text, there is also a rich and valuable essay—as well as indices—which will better enable the reader to approach the heart of Plato's intention.
 
This new edition includes a new introduction by acclaimed critic Adam Kirsch, setting the work in its intellectual context for a new generation of readers.

Love and Friendship

Allan Bloom

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Argues that basic human connections--love and friendship--are withering away, asserting that humans' impoverished feelings are rooted in an impoverished language of love

Giants and Dwarfs: Essays, 1960-1990

Allan David Bloom

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A volume of wide-ranging essays deals with contemporary politics, modern thinkers, and today's universities, and examines works by Plato, Shakespeare, Swift, and Rousseau

Shakespeare's Politics

Allan Bloom

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Taking the classical view that the political shapes man's consciousness, Allan Bloom considers Shakespeare as a profoundly political Renaissance dramatist. He aims to recover Shakespeare's ideas and beliefs and to make his work once again a recognized source for the serious study of moral and political problems.

In essays looking at Julius Caesar, Othello, and The Merchant of Venice, Bloom shows how Shakespeare presents a picture of man that does not assume privileged access for only literary criticism. With this claim, he argues that political philosophy offers a comprehensive framework within which the problems of the Shakespearean heroes can be viewed. In short, he argues that Shakespeare was an eminently political author. Also included is an essay by Harry V. Jaffa on the limits of politics in King Lear.

"A very good book indeed . . . one which can be recommended to all who are interested in Shakespeare." —G. P. V. Akrigg

"This series of essays reminded me of the scope and depth of Shakespeare's original vision. One is left with the impression that Shakespeare really had figured out the answers to some important questions many of us no longer even know to ask."-Peter A. Thiel, CEO, PayPal, Wall Street Journal

Allan Bloom was the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor on the Committee on Social Thought and the co-director of the John M. Olin Center for Inquiry into the Theory and Practice of Democracy at the University of Chicago. Harry V. Jaffa is professor emeritus at Claremont McKenna College and Claremont Graduate School.

Emile: Or On Education

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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Alan Bloom's new translation of Emile, Rousseau's masterpiece on the education and training of the young, is the first in more than seventy years. In it, Bloom, whose magnificent translation of Plato's Republic has been universally hailed as a virtual rediscovery of that timeless text, again brings together the translator's gift for journeying between two languages and cultures and the philosopher's perception of the true meaning and significance of the issues being examined in the work. The result is a clear, readable, and highly engrossing text that at the same time offers a wholly new sense of the importance and relevance of Rousseau's thought to us.In addition to his translation, Bloom provides a brilliant introduction that relates the structure and themes of the book to the vital preoccupation's of our own age, particularly in the field of education, but also more generally to the current concerns about the limits and possibilities of human nature. Thus in this translation Emile, long a classic in the history of Western thought and educational theory, becomes something more: a prescription, fresh and dazzling, for the bringing up of autonomous, responsible—that is, truly democratic—human beings.

The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom (1987-04-01)

Allan Bloom;

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By Allan Bloom: THE CLOSING OF THE AMERICAN MIND

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How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students. The author says, "More than anything else, this book is to be taken as a report from the front. The reader can judge for himself the gravity of our situation. Every age has its problems, and I do not claim that things were wonderful in the past. I am describing our present situation and do not intend any comparison with the past to be used as grounds for congratulations or blaming ourselves but only for the sake of clarifying what counts for us and what is special in our situation."

Republic (Hackett Classics)

Plato

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The revised edition of Grube's classic translation follows and furthers Grube's noted success in combining fidelity to Plato’s text with natural readability, while reflecting the fruits of new scholarship and insights into Plato's thought since publication of the first edition in 1974. A new introduction, index, and bibliography by Professor Reeve are included in this new rendering.

Shakespeare on Love and Friendship

Allan Bloom

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"No one can make us love love as much as Shakespeare, and no one can make us despair of it as effectively as he does." William Shakespeare is the only classical author to remain widely popular—not only in America but throughout the world—and Allan Bloom argues that this is because no other writer holds up a truer mirror to human nature. Unlike the Romantics and other moderns, Shakespeare has no project for the betterment or salvation of mankind—his poetry simply gives us eyes to see what is there. In particular, we see the full variety of erotic connections, from the "star-crossed" devotions of Romeo and Juliet to the failed romance of Troilus and Cressida to the problematic friendship of Falstaff and Hal.

This volume includes essays on five plays, Romeo and Juliet, Anthony and Cleopatra, Measure for Measure, Troilus and Cressida, and The Winter's Tale, and within these Bloom meditates on Shakespeare's work as a whole. He also draws on his formidable knowledge of Plato, Rousseau, and others to bring both ancients and moderns into the conversation. The result is a truly synoptic treatment of eros—not only a philosophical reflection on Shakespeare, but a survey of the human spirit and its tendency to seek what Bloom calls the "connectedness" of love and friendship.

These highly original interpretations of the plays convey a deep respect for their author and a deep conviction that we still have much to learn from him. In Bloom's view, we live in a love-impoverished age; he asks us to turn once more to Shakespeare because the playwright gives us a rich version of what is permanent in human nature without sharing our contemporary assumptions about erotic love.

"Provocative and illuminating." —Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

"A brilliant analysis of the erotic ugliness and the balancing erotic grace of The Winter's Tale . . . and Bloom makes more sense of [Measure for Measure] than anyone else I have read." —A. S. Byatt, Washington Post Book World

At his death in 1992, Allan Bloom was the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books, including Shakespeare's Politics (with Harry V. Jaffa) and The Closing of the American Mind.