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

Analysis and Commentary

Weaponizing Compassion

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine
Friday, June 22, 2018

The Democrat "resistance" has managed to break its own record for hysterical and hypocritical invective. Literalizing the clichéd punch line of a thousand gags––"Will no one think of the children!!!" ––the Dems are hyperventilating about the illegal alien parents and their children being separated upon detention, as the law requires. Once again, we see how much "conspicuous compassion," as Alan Bloom called it, has become a weapon of politics, one that damages our security and interests.

Analysis and Commentary

The Deep State And Tyranny

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine
Monday, June 18, 2018

The Department of Justice Inspector General’s Report released last week didn’t tell us anything we didn’t know, but merely added more damning evidence for the corruption of the FBI and its investigations over the last few years. More worthy of comment, as Andy McCarthy writes, is its refusal to use common sense and note the obvious interconnections among the various bad actors, and the bond of political bias, seasoned with careerism and arrogance, that united them.


Trump Loosens Gulliver’s Ropes

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine
Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Donald Trump left the G7 meeting early to head for Singapore and meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. He left behind a disgruntled gaggle of Lilliputian states who have grown accustomed to U.S. leaders accepting the institutional ropes binding the world’s greatest power, and now are shocked and angry that an American leader is putting America’s interests first.


Don’t Repeat The “Peace Plan” Futility

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine
Monday, June 11, 2018

This month President Trump will unveil his plan for ending the seven decades of conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. Like his predecessors, the author of the Art of the Deal seemingly can’t resist the chance to close the biggest foreign policy deal since the end of World War II. 

Featured CommentaryAnalysis and Commentary

Life In The Central Valley— I.E., The Invisible California

by Bruce Thorntonvia Eureka
Thursday, May 24, 2018

In 1973, as I was going through customs in New York, the customs agent rifling my bag looked at my passport and said, with a Bronx sneer, "Bruce Thornton, huh. Must be one of them Hollywood names."


Dangerous Times For The Constitution And Freedom

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The cracks in our constitutional order continue to multiply and widen.


The EU's Magical Thinking On The Israeli-Arab Conflict

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine
Friday, May 18, 2018

In Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, when the Welsh magus Glendower boasts, “I can call spirits from the vasty deep,” the sceptic Hotspur retorts, “Why, so can I, or so can any man; But will they come when you do call for them?” For seven decades the West’s foreign policy establishment has been trying to call Middle East peace from depths of endless summits and conferences and agreements with ritualistic chants of “land for peace” and “two-state solution.”

Analysis and Commentary

Are We Waking Up From The Diplomacy Delusion?

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine
Thursday, May 10, 2018

The real path to a more peaceful world.

Analysis and Commentary

Trump And The Two Americas

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Why the anti-Trumpers just can't give credit to the president for his successes.

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Strange Bedfellows, Stranger Politics

by Bruce Thorntonvia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 20, 2018

Puritanism is once again a force in American life—at least when it’s being used for political advantage.