(from The Witherspoon Institute):
By Paul A. Rahe
The third part of Allan Bloom’s masterwork, The Closing of the American Mind, is devoted to the state of the American university. It deserves special attention, and not just because it is usually ignored. In reading it, those of us who lived through the period it describes will be forced to relive and rethink a bygone era of very great importance for the evolution of higher education in America. Those too young to remember the events that Bloom mentions will discover the antecedents for today’s suppression of public debate concerning the fundamental human questions: who we are and how we should live our lives. We are now reaping the harvest that was sown half a century ago.
To a considerable degree, this part of Bloom’s book is autobiographical, a meditation on the crisis that engulfed Cornell University in April 1969. At the time, Bloom was an associate professor in the Department of Government. His translation of Plato’s Republic had been published late the previous fall, and he was busy teaching a year-long seminar on the book, initially using mimeographs of his translation. As it happens, I was enrolled in that seminar, and the events that took place at Cornell that spring were as seminal for me as they were for Bloom. CONTINUE READING HERE