This book mostly talks about what is happening in our College Academies and the various aspect of college student's views of their liberal ideas and ethical thinking of thier lifestyles and towards their fellow colleagues. It also talks about philosophies and hiarchy of science professions and their ideas such as political science, psychological science, natural science, and other areas sciences. All of these and some other thoughts of Allan Bloom somehow find it's way throughout American society. Allan Bloom is indeed had some expertise in his Phd. profession and as a college professor to talk about what is happening in our Academics, politics, sciences, and college lifestyle and ethics in America in his point of view.
A handful of brilliant needles hidden within a haystack of philosophical ramblings presented in dry mind-numbing academic speak with no clear beginning middle or end.
This book has a great narrative on the decline in volte of the American University. It's amazing to hear his descriptions of victimhood, especially considering this was written 30 years ago.
But I feel this could be two separate books: one on the culture of the American University, and the other as a description of philosophy. Unless you are a great student of the common philosophers, you will be lost in the latter half of this book.
l'enfer c'est les autres
It's easy to mock the author. Rock music leads to promiscuous sex, sex is bad when it has no consequences, blacks stick together, "no fault insurance, no fault divorce, and no fault sex" leads to lessening of our values, romantic love is dead, and so on, but that's not the reason he wrote the book and I won't mock him for those silly statements.
He does state that "tradition and myths even if they are not real" help us determine our real nature and develop our soul. Our individual values and valuing others opinions lessen our souls and anything that makes us see our world in relativistic terms instead of absolute values leads to the closing of the American mind for the student. There's nothing wrong with developing a thesis like this, but the author is such a poor writer it's hard to follow his line of thought and why it could be true. I, for one, wrestle with absolute verse relative truth and what does it mean.
"Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds". The author must have a very large mind and never tires in showing it by quoting philosophers but never putting them in a context such that the listener can follow the author's points. Here's how the author approaches one of his typical points, "materialism leads to reductionism which gives you determinism". He leaves it at that. He never tells you why. I only can get the impression that he must be a dualist and doesn't like science but I get no reason why that's relevant. He says dignity originally only refereed to God, and science won't give it to us and creativity lies outside of the realm of science. I have no idea what he means, but I get the feeling that he doesn't like science.
He's got some muddled theory that is hard to decipher that the beginning of the end of the university happened because of the enlightenment, and it's really hard to figure out what he means since he is such a poor writer who loves to name drop and never let the reader know what he is really trying to say. It's something to do with valuing others diversity is very bad. Empathy, seeing from others point of view, is the downfall of everything. Fine, go ahead and write a coherent book that supports that viewpoint. The author doesn't.
He's most proud of reintroducing prejudice into his students (his words, not mine). Prejudice is what the fool uses instead of reason. He really seems to not to like science. The enlightenment is okay but went too far. I stopped listening after about three fourths of the book at the point he quoted Swift to support his view that the enlightenment had gone too far. I finally figured out that he meant those things he was trying to say. It is really hard to comprehend what he is saying. He seems to think democracy is very bad and aristocracy is the ideal we should strive for. But, I'm not sure since he is such a poor writer and it's hard to figure out what he is saying.
There is one good thing about this book it's that he clearly shows how not to approach critical reasoning. He challenges his student to name a great book, a hero, and asks does evil exist. I would have answered, "the best book ever on critical reasoning is "Origin of Species". Darwin is my hero (or sometimes I would say Abraham Lincoln, isn't it amazing my two heroes were born on the exact same day Feb 12,1809), and evil are people like you who want to tear us apart instead of bringing us together".
If I can save just one person from listening to this book, it was worth me suffering through it. (Oh, yeah, there are background conversations going on during the recording of the story. I found it quaint, but some could find it obnoxious. Another reason not to listen to this book!).
I'm a truck driver that loves Audible! It is a wonderful way to "read" all the books I want to, with out having to stop working!
The Author put quit a bit of Philosophical elements into this book. He discusses many different philosophies and their ideas impact on our society in the 1980's and today. It opened my mind.
It's not a story, it's quite a bit of Philosophical history and ideas that helped me understand why our education system is lacking in so many ways.
It is hard to listen to in one sitting. My husband has this book in print and he said it was difficult to read for him, but I got through this book in one week, which is astonishing for me. The narrator helped me a lot! I've enjoyed quite a few books read by Christopher Hurt and he did a wonderful reading of this book!
You really have to have your brain working on this one. It is a very mind opening book. Having some knowledge of philosophers and what each one has contributed is helpful.
No I would not... The reading was especially dull, even thought I heard some background noise in the recording. The only thing this work did for me was make me nearly get into 2 car accidents. It is very dull, dated, and seems more of a work on professor blooms peronal thoughts than any real scientific work... I did get through 1/5 th of the book before casting it aside.
If you want more of an intellectual book stick with primary sources, engles, kant, locke...
This was really boring listening to bloom, who didn't. Seem to have much real knowledge outside academia.
Don't even get me started, no feeling just dull monotone...
I was able to delete it from my ipod...
To each his own but if your looking for a more scientific work (or even something on the lines of malcom gladwell) look elsewhere.