Know Your Enemy: Unraveling Allan Bloom and Saul Bellow

Know Your Enemy: Unraveling Allan Bloom and Saul Bellow

A deep-dive into Ravelstein, Saul Bellow’s roman à clef about the Straussian political philosopher Allan Bloom, who achieved late-in-life wealth and fame after publishing his controversial best-seller, The Closing of the American Mind.

Portrait of Saul Bellow used for the first-edition back cover of Herzog. (Wikimedia Commons)

Know Your Enemy is a podcast about the American right co-hosted by Matthew Sitman and Sam Adler-Bell. Read more about it here. You can subscribe, rate, and review to the show on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher, and receive bonus content by supporting the podcast on Patreon.

In this episode Matt and Sam discuss Ravelstein, Saul Bellow’s roman à clef about the Straussian political philosopher Allan Bloom, who achieved late-in-life wealth and fame after publishing his controversial best-seller, The Closing of the American Mind. Along the way they consider the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought, eros and the intellectual life, love and friendship, Bellow and Bloom’s shared Jewishness, and much, much more.

 

Sources and further reading:

Saul Bellow, Ravelstein, (Penguin, 2000)

Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind, (Simon & Schuster, 1987)

Bloom, Giants and Dwarfs, (Simon & Schuster, 1990)

Bloom, Love and Friendship, (Simon & Schuster, 1993)

Michel de Montaigne, “Of Friendship,” from The Complete Works (trans. Donald Frame)

D.T. Max, With Friends Like Saul Bellow, New York Times Magazine

Christopher Hitchens, The Egg-Head’s Egger-On, London Review of Books

Patrick Deneen, Who Closed the American Mind? Allan Bloom, Edmund Burke, & Multiculturalism, The Imaginative Conservative

 

…and don’t forget you can subscribe to Know Your Enemy on Patreon to listen to all of our bonus episodes!


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