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

Featured Commentary

Carter And Obama: How To Fail At Foreign Policy

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine Online
Sunday, July 5, 2015

Who will win the title of worst foreign policy president?

The Supreme Court
Featured Commentary

The Orwellian King-Burwell Majority

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine Online
Sunday, June 28, 2015

Troubling implications beyond the further erosion of the separation of powers.

Featured Commentary

Inside Every Liberal Is A Totalitarian Screaming To Get Out: The UC’s Assault On Academic Free Speech

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage Magazine
Sunday, June 21, 2015

Since ancient Athens free speech has been at the heart of political freedom. “Free men have free tongues,” as Sophocles said, for freedom depended on citizens empowered to speak freely in the public deliberations about policy and the laws through which they governed.

Trust Me, You Fool

by Bruce Thorntonvia Hoover Digest
Friday, June 19, 2015

That gibe about the “stupidity of the American voter” is as old as Athens and as modern as a federal technocrat.

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Islam Through The Looking Glass

by Bruce Thorntonvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, June 18, 2015

Westerners fundamentally misunderstand the religion that motivates the jihadists. 

Featured Commentary

The Postcolonial Rot Spreads Beyond Middle East Studies

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage Magazine
Monday, June 15, 2015

In theory, Middle East Studies programs are a good idea. One of the biggest impediments to countering modern jihadism has been the lack of historical knowledge about the region and Islam.

Featured Commentary

Progressive Academics Shocked That Their Creatures Turn On Them

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine Online
Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Recently several progressive professors have publicly complained that their students are hounding them for failing to consider their tender sensibilities by straying beyond the p.c. orthodoxy on sexual assault, sex identity, linguistic correctness, and a whole host of other progressive shibboleths.

Featured Commentary

We’re Still Dumbing Down The Iraq War

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine Online
Monday, May 18, 2015

Jeb Bush tangled himself up recently when he tried to answer a dumb question on the intelligence failures about Iraq’s WMDs and their role in going to war with Saddam Hussein in 2003. I’m not interested in the media’s usual pointless chatter about the incident. More troubling is the continuing dumbing down of the context and circumstances that surrounded the decision to go to war.

islam, sunset
Featured Commentary

The Failed Tactic of Flattering Islam Won’t Go Away

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine Online
Sunday, May 10, 2015

The recent attack in Texas against a “draw Mohammed” event ended up with two dead jihadis and widespread criticism of event organizer Pamela Geller. The hypocrisies and ignorance behind such criticism have been amply documented, including by some on the left. But there’s another argument against actions and events like Geller’s that needs dismantling.

Featured Commentary

Baltimore And The Betrayal Of Black Dignity

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine Online
Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Baltimore is the latest American city to become a stage for the farce that is our national racial discourse. The swift, politicized indictment of 6 police officers for the death of Freddie Gray––which brought down, for now, the curtain on this performance by abandoning all the canons of procedural justice–– is a fitting end to this sorry spectacle.