The closing of the American mind | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

The closing of the American mind

The English faculty at Leicester University recently decided to expunge works such as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Beowulf from their curriculum. They hoped that removing classical “Western” works from their curriculum would attract more students. That decision accentuates a trend that has been underway in American colleges, too: Eliminating course that many students claim glorify western imperialism, capitalism, and chauvinism. The students, and often faculty, demand colleges take down portraits and statues as well. The University of Pennsylvania removed a portrait of Shakespeare that had graced the walls for years. Not to be outdone, the San Francisco Board of Education removed Abraham Lincoln’s name from a public school.

In 1987, Alan Bloom published his insightful book, The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Improvised the Souls of American Students. Bloom taught at the University of Chicago which published the Great Books of the Western World series. The Great Books series has served as a basic curriculum in colleges that offer the Great Books program, most notably the University of Chicago and Columbia University.