Hudson Institute and the Hertog Political Studies Program present...
Allan Bloom's Closing of the American Mind Twenty-Five Years Later: The Continuing Failure of Higher Education?
Friday, June 15
12:45 to 2:45 PM
Twenty-five years ago, Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students offered a thorough indictment of American colleges and universities. Bloom attacked the very things faculty and students held most dear—historicism, cultural relativism, women's studies, even rock music and the then-omnipresent Sony Walkman—as shallow and destructive of a genuine life of the mind.
Closing, a runaway best-seller, was in different ways serious, funny, frightening, and maddening for many who read it—and triggered an intense national debate. Those he attacked then counter-attacked, in thoughtful and not-so-thoughtful ways.
As higher education costs have skyrocketed, the liberal education that Bloom outlined seems even less a goal of colleges and universities today. Yet, according to Bloom, this trend endangers both human freedom and American democracy. Looking back with the hindsight of a quarter century, was Bloom correct or can we now more clearly discern errors in Bloom's critique?
Hudson Institute hosted a panel discussion examining the lasting impact of Bloom's book. The distinguished panelists were Nathan Tarcov, Professor, University of Chicago; Hillel Fradkin, Senior Fellow and Director, Hudson Institute's Center on Islam, Democracy, and the Future of the Muslim World; William Kristol, Editor, The Weekly Standard; and Janet Dougherty, Senior Tutor, St. John's College Santa Fe. Hudson Institute's Chief Operating Officer John Walters moderated the discussion.
St. Regis Hotel
923 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005