Bruce Thornton

Bruce Thornton

Research Fellow

Bruce S. Thornton, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, grew up on a cattle ranch in Fresno County, California. He received his BA in Latin from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1975, as well as his PhD in comparative literature–Greek, Latin, and English–in 1983. Thornton is currently a professor of classics and humanities at California State University, Fresno. He is the author of nine books on a variety of topics, including Greek Ways: How the Greeks Created Western Civilization; Searching for Joaquin: Myth, Murieta, and History in California; with Victor Davis Hanson, Bonfire of the Humanities: Rescuing the Classics in an Impoverished Age; Decline and Fall: Europe’s Slow-Motion Suicide; and most recently The Wages of Appeasement: Ancient Athens, Munich, and Obama's America. His numerous essays and reviews on Greek culture and civilization and their influence on Western civilization, as well as on other contemporary political and educational issues, have appeared in both scholarly journals and magazines such as the New Criterion, Commentary, National Review, the Weekly Standard, and the Claremont Review of Books. Thornton is also a regular contributor to online magazines such as City Journal and Advancing a Free Society. He has lectured at many colleges and universities and at venues such as the Smithsonian Institute, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, the Army War College, and the Air Force Academy; he has also appeared on television on the History Channel and ABC’s Politically Incorrect. His next book, to be released in July 2014 by the Hoover Institution Press, is titled Democracy's Dangers and Discontents: The Tyranny of the Majority from the Greeks to Obama.

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Recent Commentary

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Tyrants Like Unity, Too

by Bruce Thorntonvia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 23, 2017

America’s founders accepted the perennial clash of “interests and passions”—in fact, they welcomed it. What they feared was unity: the unity of a people under a demagogue or a domineering government. 

Analysis and Commentary

The Age Of Trump: View From A Supporter

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage
Friday, October 20, 2017

Never Trumpers’ myopia blinds them from seeing the greater danger that a Clinton presidency would have created.

Analysis and Commentary

The Beginning Of The End Of Progressive Domination?

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage
Monday, October 16, 2017

The overreach of the Left’s response to Trump's victory -- and its consequences.

Analysis and Commentary

Gun Control: Another Progressive Power Grab

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage
Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The reaction after every mass shooting follows a predictable script written by progressives to serve their political agenda. No claim about the efficacy of gun control, no matter how many times repudiated by facts, can stop the Dems and their media spaniels from ritually invoking it to demonize conservatives. 


A Fractured Civilization: The European Union At Sixty

by Bruce Thorntonvia David Horowitz Freedom Center
Wednesday, October 11, 2017

On March 25, the 27 members of the European Union celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which began the process of creating an “an evercloser union among the peoples of Europe,” as the treaty proclaimed. Nine months after the shocking referendum that approved Great Britain’s departure from the E.U., the assembled ministers put on a brave face. 

The Civil Rights Movement: RIP

by Bruce Thornton
Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Civil Rights movement is dead. This noble effort to align the nation’s laws with the belief that “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights,” was a time when brave black men and women, most of them Christians armed only with the power of faith and principle, endured violence and invective with dignity and grace.

Analysis and Commentary

Trump Should Reject Fatally Flawed International Institutions

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Donald Trump campaigned and was elected as an agent of radical change. He promised to roll back the policies on big government at home and transnational cooperation abroad that both parties have endorsed for years. His campaign rhetoric about the “useless UN” and the “unfair” Paris Climate Accords suggested he understood that such organizations and treaties fleece Americans while handing over national sovereignty to other countries eager to gain leverage over us.

Analysis and Commentary

The Ideological Hijacking Of The University And The Betrayal Of Its Traditional Mission

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage
Monday, September 25, 2017

The corruption of American higher education has been in the news a lot in the last few years. “Snowflakes” and “safe spaces,” crowds of thugs shutting down conservative speakers, craven administrators caving in to demands of activist students and faculty have become increasingly common since the rise of Donald Trump sparked a “resistance” movement. 


Vox Trump, Vox Populi

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine Online
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Why raising the debt ceiling is an especially revealing moment in our democratic politics.

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America’s Foreign Policy Crisis

by Bruce Thorntonvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Leaders and voters can’t decide between isolationism, realism, and idealism.