Education: Are Student Heads Full of Emptiness?

Two scholarly authors have beach-time best sellers that blast U.S. education

Allan What? and E.D. Who? Educators are bemused, booksellers astonished. No wonder. Two professor-authors, Allan Bloom of the University of Chicago and E.D. Hirsch Jr. of the University of Virginia, are leaders on the best-seller lists, even though their tomes would not seem the stuff of mass browsing in the summer sun.

Yet there they are. Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind, with the daunting subtitle How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students, has 250,000 copies in print and tops the New York Times nonfiction list, where it has been for 15 straight weeks....