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Book reviews for "Bloom,_Harry" sorted by average review score:

Shakespeare's Politics
Published in Paperback by University of Chicago Press (January, 1987)
Authors: Allan David Bloom, Allen Bloom, and Harry V. Jaffa
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See Shakespeare In Another Light
It should be obvious that Shakespeare wrote great literature. That fact is assumed by the authors of this book. However, Allan Bloom and Harry Jaffa demonstrate a deeper awareness of Shakespeare than one will find in literature departments. Shakespeare combined poetry with an acute knowledge of politics, and these excellent scholars have written a clear and convincing account of some of those facets of political wisdom. Read this fine book and help rescue Shakespeare from political irrelevance.

Shakespeare as Political Philosopher
I am admittedly not too familiar with much of Shakespeare scholarship out there, but I would venture to suggest that (considering the elgance of Bloom's prose as well as the depth of his insights) this work should rank among the finest in Shakespeare scholarship. Such a statement would surely offend the academic snobbery of the Shakespeare scholarship cabal who would reflexively question the authority of one who is not a Shakepeare specialist, in particular, the authority of one who has specialized in expounding the thoughts of Plato and Rosseau. However, I would argue that this is precisely the very reason that elevates Bloom the political philosopher in a privileged position in understanding Shakespeare. The rationale is supplied in the beginning of Bloom's study itself: the great classical dramatists or poets were not proponents of the art for art's sake or creating art for purely aesthetic reasons. Instead, through their art, the great dramatists and poets sought to convey certain timeless truths about human existence, in particular, about political existence, for man is a zoon politikon according to Aristotle. Hence, Bloom's account is a necessary corrective to those language nabobs who would rather prattle about the meters and stanzas and in so doing lose sight of Shakespeares account of the Whole.

Powerful. Pungent. Political and philosophical too.
It is difficult to convey how wonderful I found this thin little book to be. It is no larger than a slice of rye bread, but the food for thought contained therein could feed a soul for a thousand days. It took me two mesermizing hours to get through the Introduction and Bloom's essay on 'The Merchant of Venice'. At first, I mistrusted my recollection- was there really so much there? Had the dry old play decayed so completely in my estimation, or had Bloom inserted his own opinions? No, after more blissful consternation, I relived what I had long taken for dead. Allan Bloom really sees things. His deft insight makes Shakespeare seem real and urgent again, despite how unfashionable and out of vogue the debate may seem to contemporary minds. The Jewish and the Christian come to light, the entire legacy of each Faith revealed keenly, sharply, and decisively in favour of one higher power. The authority of thought, the power of unaided reason brought to bear nakedly on an eternal, ever-so tender, sore. Bloom's essay on 'Othello' and 'Julius Cesear' prove out this reviewer's intial wonder at the work. To readers familiar with Bloom's other works, I include myself, this book was additionally worthy because it showed that the issue Allan Bloom later became famous for, the decay of education, was already at the forefront of his mind in the early 1960's. He states in the book's introduction and claims it as his motivation for publishing the essay. This was 1964, several years before the signifigant events of the 1960s took full shape and bore full weight on American society. The introduction includes Bloom's stark assessment of Poetry and Philosophy. He quotes Napolean (one of very few direct quotes, the footnotes are rich, but few) to argue for the superiority of poetry over politics and then slyly demostrates the superiority of philosophy, or the philosopher, true and proper, over poetry. This is a book you could own and keep and reread often, even secrete it undercover and carry it across hostile borders, real and imagined.

Shakespeare as Political Thinker
Published in Hardcover by Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) (01 June, 2000)
Authors: John Alvis, Thomas G. West, Laurence Berns, Allan Bloom, Paul A. Cantor, Louise Cowan, Christopher Flannery, Robert B. Heilman, Harry V. Jaffa, and Michael Platt
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Fantastic book on Shakespeare
This winter break I went on a Shakespeare buying spree, and this book is one of the fine gems I found. A large, but fascinating book, this work of great scholarship and excitement takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of Shakespeare, even into rather obscure corners of his works (Trollius and Cressida, Timon of Athens). This book is a must read for any would be deep thinker about Shakespeare.

The New Shakespeareans
Shakespeare as Political Thinker is a must for everyone interested in the political thought of William Shakespeare. This reprint will finally allow new comers to become familair with a commonsensical approach to Shakespeare's plays. The introductory chapter by John Alvis is worth the price. Perhaps the best Shakespearean critic alive, Alvis has an uncanny ability to show Shakespeare's moral seriousness without making the bard an unquestioning adherent to any political school or theological creed. Many of the essays that follow are also well done: Jaffa's chapter on Shakespeare's entire corpus, Laurence Berns' meditation on Lear etc.

The second printing of Shakespeare as Political Thinker gives hope to those interested in relearning ancient wisdom and pays tribute to its inspiration, Shakespeare's Politics (Allan Bloom).

Transvaal Episode
Published in Paperback by Permanent Press (September, 1982)
Author: Harry Bloom
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The most memorable I have read to date...
I knew nothing beyond the basics of apartheid in South Africa until I read Harry Bloom's incredibly powerful book. Even now, I cannot claim that this book has made me an expert, far from it, in fact. But, I have a much greater appreciation of what like was like in the Transvaal (or black locations) in South Africa. Even though the title is a work of fiction, I believe that the reader will get a much greater understanding on this topic. (And like other reviewers, I admit I picked this up because it is written by Orlando Bloom's father.I will use any excuse to pick up a new and different book! )

Bloom's story is set in the fictional town of Nelstroom, S. Africa. We are introduced to two main characters, Du Toit, the location manager and Mabaso; a black man who has come from Johannesburg with the hopes of easing the hardships of life in the location. Du Toit begins his job with the best of intentions, trying to make life better while still enforcing the laws of apartheid. He will eventually, of course, give in to the higher ups. Mabaso is an educated man. He makes the people of the location aware of how they suffer. And we all know education is a powerful thing. The people who stand behind these two men will clash and begin to rebel against each other. This is a book you know will not have a happy ending from the first page.

Since I can't find the words from my own experiences to describe the total unfairness and confusion of apartheid, I would like to take a quote from the book, which stuck with me from the point I read it until I finished and long after that. "Facts are twisted, illusions fostered, truth destroyed to prove that the perverted is normal, the sordid noble, the brutal beautiful, the guilty innocent, the coward a hero, disaster a victory-and the reverse of all these things."(Pgs 277-278). Harry Bloom was imprisoned for writing this book, that alone is testament to its truth. Despite its heavy subject, it is a great, fast paced read. And a book that will stick with you for a lifetime.

Transvaal Episode
I must admit that I originally picked up this book for the curiosity factor of it having been written by actor Orlando Bloom's father. However, from the very first page the gripping tale of oppression, hopelessness, and desperation in South Africa sucked me in like few novels I can remember. The writing style was lush in its descriptive power, and the author's intimate knowledge of both the people and the problems of the region shines through page after page. Although one knows from the very first page that this tale will *not* have a happy ending, even in its horror the conclusion makes perfect sense and holds one until the very last paragraph. The one minor gripe I had with the novel was the shifting perspective and timeline; however, both were required to gain a full sense of the events and the insanity behind them. This is a serious work for the serious reader and definitely worth more than a single reading. I highly recommend this work.

Dr Called Harry (Large Print)
Published in Textbook Binding by John Curley & Assoc (January, 1982)
Author: Bloom
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Electrochemistry: The Past Thirty and the Next Thirty Years
Published in Hardcover by Plenum Pub Corp (October, 1976)
Authors: Felix Gutmann and Harry Bloom
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Whittaker's wife
Published in Unknown Binding by ()
Author: Harry Bloom
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