The Closing of Allan Bloom

Allan BloomOn this day in 1737, the composer Michael Haydn was born. He was the brother of Joseph Haydn. I’m not at all sure why Joseph has become such a staple of classical music while Michael has not. He’s very good as you can see in his Symphony No. 41:

Italian Romantic composer Luigi Cherubini was born in 1760. Beethoven thought he was the best composer of that period—except for Beethoven himself, of course. Here is his Symphony in D Major:

The illustrator Charles Dana Gibson was born in 1867. He was the creator of the “Gibson Girl.” Birth control activist Margaret Sanger was born in 1879. Film producer Hal B. Wallis was born in 1898. Co-writer of “Heartbreak Hotel,” songwriter Mae Boren Axton was born in 1914.

Economist Lawrence Klein is 92 today. Chekov from Star Trek, actor Walter Koenig is 77. Actor Sam Neill is 66. And Canadian actor Callum Keith Rennie is 53.

The day, however, belongs to a man I really don’t like, Allan Bloom who was born in 1930. He is best known for his bestseller The Closing of the American Mind. It’s not that I totally disagree with him, but the man annoys me. The only reason I am giving the day to him is that I have a fairly long history of confusing him with Harold Bloom, who writes about a lot of the same stuff and is often annoying in exactly the same way. I will try to keep the two distinct from now on.

Happy birthday Allan Bloom!

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