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The Closing of the American Mind, by Allan Bloom

Context with Brad Harris

Release Date: 05/02/2019

Urban Versus Rural show art Urban Versus Rural

Context with Brad Harris

There’s a lot that’s dividing Americans right now - lots of divisive narratives that have captivated lots of people. One of those narratives features the apparent widening political divide between urban and rural culture. But, the truth is that the evolution of America’s urban and rural communities has always been symbiotic.

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Notes On Tribalism show art Notes On Tribalism

Context with Brad Harris

"Notes on Nationalism" was an essay written by George Orwell in 1945, just as World War II was ending. It caused quite a stir at the time, but most people these days have never heard of it. Nonetheless, "Notes on Nationalism" remains one of the most powerful examples of Orwell's timeless insight into human nature; in this case, focused on our instinct to gang up on each other, our instinct for tribalism.

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The Fate of Universities show art The Fate of Universities

Context with Brad Harris

Like many others, I’ve begun to worry about the fate of higher education in American society.

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Explaining Postmodernism: A Conversation with Stephen Hicks show art Explaining Postmodernism: A Conversation with Stephen Hicks

Context with Brad Harris

Postmodernism planted the seeds of the illiberalism that's erupting throughout our society today. The battle of ideas postmodern thinking provokes could very well determine the fate of liberal democracy our lifetime.

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Escaping the Cycle of History show art Escaping the Cycle of History

Context with Brad Harris

"History does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes."

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Reflections from A Distant Mirror show art Reflections from A Distant Mirror

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Plague, political chaos, the looming prospect of another civil war... what century are we in?

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2+2=5 show art 2+2=5

Context with Brad Harris

I went slightly mad producing this episode. But then, the line between our reality and the fiction of 1984 has become far too blurry for my comfort.

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All Things Being Equal show art All Things Being Equal

Context with Brad Harris

One of the worst features of our society, we are told, is wealth inequality. But, what is the historical truth about wealth inequality?

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Approximating Perfection show art Approximating Perfection

Context with Brad Harris

The history of calculus may seem irrelevant to most of our going concerns, but as author and mathematician Strogatz shows, the spirit of calculus expresses one of the best ideas humanity has ever had: greatness is not to be found in the end, but in the effort.

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Science as a Candle in the Dark show art Science as a Candle in the Dark

Context with Brad Harris

Carl Sagan was a brilliant popularizer of science.  His book, The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, helps to inspire clear thinking when chaos reigns supreme.  Here, I share my thoughts on the important themes of that work.  

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Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind, published in 1987, became one of the most influential books of the last 50 years by instigating a battle over the soul of the American University that's been raging ever since.

The book sold millions of copies, becoming a powerful weapon in Bloom's fight against what he identified as a morally and intellectually crippling form of relativism infecting America's educational system. Allan Bloom sought to remind us that the goal of education is not to become open to all ideas, but to cultivate the search for the best ideas.

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