Over on the homepage, my friend Gerald Russello has an excellent piece on the Allan Bloom flap. I’ll add two quick observations. Earlier this year, Cliff Orwin wrote about the Straussians for the Claremont Review of Books–and in his essay he mentioned that Bloom had encouraged him to support Bill Clinton for president in 1992. I’m not sure this sheds any light on the NYT-Bloom discussion, but I found it interesting when I read it.
Also, it may be worth nothing that before Bloom wrote The Closing of the American Mind, he wrote an essay for National Review called “Our Listless Universities.” It appeared in the December 19, 1982 issue. After reading it, Saul Bellow encouraged Bloom to turn the article into a book. Bloom went on to write the volume that Jim Sleeper now regards as a liberal manifesto.
For those fascinated by these details of conservative intellectual history, I tell Bloom’s story in some detail in my forthcoming book, A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.