Bruce Thornton
Expertise: 

Bruce Thornton

Research Fellow
Biography: 

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

Free Speech, Political Freedom, And Comedy

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage Mag.com
Tuesday, April 23, 2019

At the Freedom Center’s recent West Coast Retreat, I made some remarks on a panel about one-party rule and free speech. By chance, my comments about the role of comedy in reinforcing political freedom and equality were perfectly illustrated that evening by Milo Yiannopoulos’ scathing impersonation of Rep. Ilhan Omar. 

Analysis and Commentary

Reparations And The Weaponization Of Slavery

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine
Thursday, April 18, 2019
The Democrats who have announced their candidacy for the presidential primary have all declared their support for paying reparations to the descendants of slaves, after they kissed the ring of notorious race-baiter, tax cheat, and liar Al Sharpton. None has a clue exactly how such a policy would be implemented, and it’s clear their support is nothing more than virtue-signaling and pandering to the racialist left. Nor is it likely such a policy will come to pass.
In the News

Bring Back Civics

quoting Bruce Thorntonvia Oak Park
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Can we be trusted with democracy? I'm starting to conclude that we can't, that we don't care enough, or know enough, to be trusted with our remarkable form of government.

Analysis and Commentary

Joe Biden And Progressive Hypocrisy

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine
Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Why the allegations against him aren't about predatory masculinity.

Analysis and Commentary

The Fallout From The Mueller Report

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

“Mountains struggle to give birth,” the Roman poet Horace wrote, “and a ridiculous mouse is born.” After 675 days, $25 million,19 lawyers, 40 FBI agents, 500 interviews, 2,800 subpoenas, and 500 search warrants, Special Counsel Mueller’s “dream team” comprising Democrat partisans, as Reddit called it, has confirmed what at least half of Americans already knew from common sense and public information: the Trump campaign did not “collude” with Russia to steal the election from Hillary Clinton.

Analysis and Commentary

University Admissions Scandal Is A Dog-Bites-Man Story

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage Mag.com
Monday, March 25, 2019

The revelations that parents of applicants to tony universities bribed university officials to engineer their children’s admission have provoked the usual complaints of class privilege corrupting higher education’s meritocratic system and lofty mission. But those horses left the university barn decades ago. The real issue deserving of exposure and condemnation is the role of the federal government in demanding and encouraging this corruption.

Analysis and Commentary

The NeverTrump Bitter-Enders

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine
Thursday, March 14, 2019

As Trump enters his third year of office, some Republican NeverTrumpers have gotten control of the symptoms of Trumpophobia, and have settled for the occasional snarky asides to maintain their anti-Trump bona fides while they write about serious issues rather than Trump’s alleged crypto-fascist assault on “democratic norms.”

Analysis and Commentary

Why Do Progressives Reject Policies That Would Achieve Their Aims?

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage Mag.com
Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Sesame Street) has delivered yet another statement that bespeaks the progressives’ chronic myopia. This time she’s pondering the dilemma about whether or not it’s “still okay to have children,” given the apocalyptic future being created by climate change. The point has nothing to do with demography, as birth-rates in the U.S. are already starting to decline.

Analysis and Commentary

The Democrats’ Dangerous Gong Show

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine
Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The dire risks of absurdity in politics.

Analysis and Commentary

The Moral Idiocy Of Our Times

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage Mag.com
Wednesday, February 6, 2019

One of the foundational myths of modernity holds that the progress of scientific knowledge and technology has been accompanied by moral progress. As wealth and knowledge increase, the old impediments to moral improvement such as poverty, religious superstition, and ignorance are being swept away, resulting in a kinder, gentler, and more pacific human nature.

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