ON-Lion Letter
Twenty years ago, University of Chicago professor Allan Bloom's classic book, The Closing of the American Mind, harshly critiqued higher education for failing both its students and our democracy.  More broadly, Bloom persuasively argued that under the guise of relativism, openness, and diversity, the American university closed itself to the very pursuit of truth -- or even that truth may exist.

The Closing of the American Mind, unfortunately, remains as instructive and relevant now as it was two decades ago.  To celebrate Bloom's book and examine American higher education's still-unmet challenge of "opening the American mind," the Center for the American University (CAU) at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research will host a major conference in on October 3, 2007, in New York City.

The day-long event will look at the historical context of Bloom's book, the role of the higher education in maintaining the health of democratic society, the degree to which certain forms of "openness" may be tantamount to intellectual and moral "closing," and whether the university can even still help open the American mind.

Among the conference's presenters are Bradley Prize recipient Heather Mac Donald, a contributing editor of the Manhattan Institute's City Journal, and Roger Kimball, president and publisher of Encounter Books.

Its discussants include Bradley Prize recipient Robert P. George of Princeton University's James Madison Program in American Ideals and InstitutionsJames W. Ceaser of the University of Virginia, and Manhattan Institute senior fellow John McWhorter.  Ceaser wrote the framing essay for the 2006 Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal Annual Symposium, and McWhorter wrote a commissioned essay for the 2007 Bradley Symposium.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports the Manhattan Institute.
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