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The Closing of the American Mind Audiobook
The Closing of the American Mind
Written by: 
Allan Bloom
Narrated by: 
Christopher Hurt
The Closing of the American Mind Audiobook

The Closing of the American Mind

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Publisher's Summary

In one of the most important books of our time, Allan Bloom, a professor of social thought at the University of Chicago and a noted translator of Plato and Rousseau, argues that the social and political crisis of 20th-century America is really an intellectual crisis. Bloom cites everything from the universities' lack of purpose to the students' lack of learning, from the jargon of liberation to the supplanting of reason by so-called creativity. Furthermore, he shows how American democracy has unwittingly played host to vulgarized Continental ideas of nihilism and despair, of relativism disguised as tolerance, while demonstrating that the collective mind of the American university is closed to the very principles of spiritual heritage that gave rise to the university in the first place.

(P)1992 by Blackstone Audiobooks; ©1987 by Alan Bloom

What the Critics Say

"With clarity, gravity, and grace, Bloom makes a convincing case for the improbable proposition that reading old books about the permanent questions could help to reestablish reason and restore the soul." (Mary Ann Glendon, Harvard University)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (197 )
5 star
 (88)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.9 (105 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.8 (109 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Volther Georgia, USA 01-25-10
    Volther Georgia, USA 01-25-10 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The closing of the American Mind"

    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.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Las Cruces, NM, United States 03-14-14
    Gary Las Cruces, NM, United States 03-14-14 Member Since 2016

    l'enfer c'est les autres

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Silly screed and poorly written"

    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!).

    2 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Lee 07-08-13
    Robert Lee 07-08-13 Member Since 2016

    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!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Understanding the cause of our Failing Education"
    What did you love best about The Closing of the American Mind?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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!


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    steve la mirada, CA, United States 02-20-12
    steve la mirada, CA, United States 02-20-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "dont waste a 'free credit'"
    Would you try another book from Allan Bloom and/or Christopher Hurt?

    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.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    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.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Don't even get me started, no feeling just dull monotone...


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I was able to delete it from my ipod...


    Any additional comments?

    To each his own but if your looking for a more scientific work (or even something on the lines of malcom gladwell) look elsewhere.

    3 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Warrenton, GA, USA 05-06-04
    Bill Warrenton, GA, USA 05-06-04
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    "Political Rhetoric Circa 1985"

    Weak, bombastic, and not worth a reasonable person's time.

    5 of 70 people found this review helpful

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