Unlike poor old George Orwell's classic book, '1984', which I discussed below, I can absolutely and definitely remember reading 'The Closing of the American Mind' by Harold Alan Bloom (see commentary for my silly mistake) and indeed, there is a copy of it within arm's reach to my left. It must have been in the late '80s or early '90s and because, back then, I used to subscribe to the printed - yes, printed! - air-mailed, monthly edition of The American Spectator, I bet it was those rascals who urged me into buying it.
I am reminded of it by the admirable Arts & Letters Daily, again, which links to a site called The Point Mag in which there is an article on the subject of Alan Bloom and his famous book. It was an education, in all senses because, of course, it was on the subject of American education, particularly at the highest level. I could not now pass an examination on his text but it can be summarised roughly as suggesting that university education in the Arts at the highest level of universities 'over there' was rapidly becoming the equivalent of a dog-pile! Catching, as I do from time to time, a brief picture of the top American universities, I would suggest that he was spot on!
Not, I hasten to add, that things are any better 'over here' where I gain the impression that quite bright, sixth formers leave school and trot off to university where they rapidly degenerate into oafish stupidity from which they never quite recover. Quite literally, they seem unable to think their way out of a paper bag! This is probably due to the quality of teaching they receive which, of course, emanates from lecturers who themselves have only recently passed through the 'dumb 'n' dumber' regime. Neither Bloom then, or I now, have much to say on the quality of scientific education, all we can do is pray!