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

Why Is War Off The Table In The Conflict With Iran?

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine
Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Washington Free Beacon’s Matthew Continetti reminds us of how the Obama administration sold the Iran Nuclear Deal. In 2016, Obama’s ex national security advisor Ben Rhodes told the New York Times Magazine how the administration “created an echo chamber” in the media in order to sell the terminally flawed Iran Nuclear Deal to reporters who, Rhodes said correctly, “literally know nothing.” The center-piece of Obama’s narrative was an either-or fallacy: sign the deal with Iran, or go to war.

Analysis and Commentary

Time For Iran To Face A Reckoning

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine
Friday, May 17, 2019

While the media obsess over chimeras like the president’s obstruction of justice for nonexistent crimes, and AG Barr’s impeachment for obeying the law, a collision between the U.S. and Iran is brewing in the Middle East. The question now is whether Iran will finally face the reckoning it has invited and deserved for 42 years, or the latest crisis will peter out into U.S. saber-rattling and empty threats.


Reining In The Activist Federal Judiciary

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

How we can roll back the progressive assaults on our political liberty.

Analysis and Commentary

Jew-Hatred Ancient And Modern

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine
Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Recently the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives failed to censure Rep. Ilhan Omar for indulging anti-Semitic tropes like the “dual loyalties” slander. 

Analysis and Commentary

The Use And Abuse Of Political Accountability

by Bruce Thorntonvia Front Page Magazine
Thursday, May 2, 2019

The lethal dangers of leaving unpunished the principle of equality before the law.

Analysis and Commentary

Defender Of The Faith

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage
Friday, April 26, 2019

David Horowitz’s new book unveils the war to destroy Christian America -- and its dire implications for our republic.

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Children of Entitlement

by Bruce Thorntonvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Young leaders who preach socialism and other fantasies demonstrate an astonishing disregard for facts—maybe because they’ve never been forced to face any facts.

Free Speech, Political Freedom, And Comedy

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage
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.