Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Book Review: "The Closing of the American Mind"

The Closing of the American Mind
By Allan Bloom

The Closing of the American Mind was written back in 1989 about the state of the academy in America. Bloom has split his book into three different sections. The first covers the current youth culture from within the university. The second discusses the history of the philosophy of the academy. The third covers the history of the academy in America and pulls the other two parts together.

I must say that the first two parts were quite difficult to read. They seemed to not really be going anywhere. Bloom had lots of great information, but at the time of reading the parts, it seemed like the long way to go to get to where he wanted to go. Once I got to the third part when he pulled everything together, I realized why he took the long route.

In order to understand where Bloom was coming from, the reader needed every bit of information that he provided throughout the book. He definitely seems to have grasped exactly what is going on in the academy. And it seems that the last 20 years have not made any difference.

This was a great book. Not one that I would recommend for the beginner, but one to read later down the road. I will be reading it a second time just so I can catch more of the facts. Anyone who looks at the academy and wonders why and how it got to where it is, should get this book. Not a light read, but well worth the effort.