Jim Sleeper, whom I last discussed many moons ago here has a longish essay on Allan Bloom in Sunday’s NYT Book Review. He argues, correctly, I think, that Bloom is not a movement conservative, but rather someone who would be a burr under the saddle of ideologues all across the spectrum.
Of course, Sleeper is not without his own agenda, which is in part to use Bloom against conservatives who would approvingly cite him, from Roger Kimball to David Horowitz. Sleeper’s portrait of Bloom (and his ideal university) is drawn largely to discomfit his (Sleeper’s) current bugbear--what he takes to be the alliance of corporate capitalism and conservative religion, which threatens his vision of American civic republicanism.
I suppose that having someone in the NYT present Bloom as, in effect, an anti-neocon is better than the more common alternative, which is to make him the villainous presence behind the neocon throne, as Anne Norton did. I suppose that it’s a measure of his greatness to be used for and against any number of positions.
I will not pretend to speak for him and only lament the fact that he’s not around to speak for himself.
Update: Roger Kimball has more, much of it very critical of Sleeper, whose moralistic version of leftish civic republicanism would be no more congenial to Bloom than the religious conservative alternatives against which he poses it. Hat tip: Power Line.