Jonah, Michael Kinsley performed a test on Stephen Hawking’s book. He placed stamped post-cards in fifty copies in D.C. book stores, half way through, which asked the owner to mail them to him. None were mailed; were any found? Kinsley admitted it was completely unscientific.
Re: The Closing of the American Mind. Bloom’s editor was Erwin Glikes, who edited one of my books. He told me the second half of Bloom’s book was originally the first half; Erwin suggested switching them. Writers want to save their strong stuff for their climaxes, but publishers, wiser in the habits of readers, want to put it up front.