So I am officially not a fan of Allan Bloom. I didn't expect to really be that interested in it, much less hate it with such a passion. I'll give it to him that it takes a lot to really enrage a reader as much as it does, but what does it really accomplish? How did this rant of his affect society? Was Allan Bloom later made famous for creating this huge reform in the education system? I doubt it. He probably still sits in a recliner by the fire mumbling "stupid American students and their rock and roll...".
As irritating as it was, The Closing of the American Mind was much easier of a read than the selections from Altick. I'll admit I couldn't even finish the whole assisgnment in one sitting without falling asleep. Really the only part of Altick's work that caught my attention was his description of the ideal student starting on page eight. I am not much of a party animal (which around here is rare), so I have always been sort of a book worm. I was pretty pleased to find myself somewhat (but not quite entirely) of his picture of a happy scholar. I don't know how successful I'll end up being, but this was a little encouragement. At least I didn't want to hunt down Altick twenty years after his work to hit him in the back of the head with a stick.
Really I wouldn't want to be Bloom's idea of a perfect student. I could handle the work with the classics and everything, but not his obsession with the personal life of students as well. I can't live without my rock and roll and I'm certainly not the religious type to spend all my time reading the Bible and "modestly" covering myself from head to toe. Heaven forbid an adult woman be distracted by sexual urges or feel the need to develop a career before having children. If Bloom's text focused strictly on how to better the education system then maybe we could get along, but he takes his freedom of speech too much as a freedom to complain without action.