Allan Bloom Quotes

What a people bows before tell us what it is.

The real community of man, in the midst of all the self-contradictory simulacra of community, is the community of those who seek the truth.

But, as with eros itself, we find books under attack. We live in a country in which the activity of solitary reading, with its need for leisure and calm, has diminished to the vanishing point. And, worse still, there are theories reigning in the land which tell us that books can have no permanent meanings […]

The failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency – the belief that the here and now is all there is.

(Returning to lecture at Cornell University after 20 years, Bloom was faced with a student banner – a bedsheet unfurled that read “Great Sex is better than Great Books.”) “Sure,” retorts Bloom, “but you can’t have one without the other.”

I was convinced in the early sixties that what was wanted was a liberal education to give such students the wherewithal to examine their lives and survey their potential. This was the one thing the universities were unequipped and unwilling to offer them. The students’ wandering and wayward energies finally found a political outlet. By […]

Contrary to much contemporary wisdom, the United States has one of the longest uninterrupted political traditions of any nation in the world. What is more, that tradition is unambiguous; its meaning is articulated in simple, rational speech that is immediately comprehensible and powerfully persuasive to all normal human beings. America tells one story: the unbroken, […]