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

The Real Scandals of the Paris March

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage
Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Commentators on both the left and the right are slamming President Obama for missing the march in Paris last Sunday. Even a stalwart courtier like CNN’s Jake Tapper sniffed that he was “ashamed” that the U.S. was represented by an ambassador––one, by the way, who got her appointment by bundling money for the president’s political campaigns. But who’s surprised at this latest display of diplomatic incompetence?

Analysis and Commentary

Western Sleepwalkers And The Paris Massacre

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage
Monday, January 12, 2015

The jihadist murderers are dead, after killing five more Parisians, but many Westerners, long drugged by bad ideas and received wisdom, continue to sleepwalk through the war against jihadism. This means that after all the brave words and feel-good marches, little significant action will be taken to prevent such atrocities from happening again.

Analysis and Commentary

When Will We Wake Up?

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage
Thursday, January 8, 2015

The three Muslim gunmen who killed 12 journalists in Paris targeted not just those people and their satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, but a core ideal and human right of the West––the right to free speech in the public square defined by tolerance for different opinions. That’s why the killers, after they had called out the names of their individual victims before they shot them, bragged as they made their escape that they had “killed” Charlie Hebdo.

US-Iran Relations
Analysis and Commentary

2015: The Year of Diplomatic Disaster in Iran?

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage
Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Prognosticators from the London Times to Democratic pundit James Carville are predicting that President Obama this year will finish a deal with Iran regarding its nuclear program.

Analysis and Commentary

The Progressive Racial Narrative And Its Beneficiaries

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage
Friday, January 2, 2015

A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll reveals that nearly 6 in 10 people believe race relations are bad, with 23% saying they are “very bad.” The causes of these perceptions are many, including nationally publicized police killings of two black men, disorderly and violent demonstrators ignoring the facts of the cases to brand the police “racist,” a lazy media neglecting to dig up and then publicize those facts, and a president, Attorney General, and mayor of New York willing to exploit and widen racial division and consort with hustlers like Al Sharpton.

Analysis and Commentary

Sloppy Thinking About ‘Torture’

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage
Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Torture is one of those topics that often overwhelm sober reason with lurid emotion. Even people who usually are clear-eyed and rational sink into sloppy thinking and incoherent argument when it comes to torture.

Analysis and Commentary

Back in Saigon: The Senate Intelligence Committee Report

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage
Friday, December 12, 2014

The Senate’s misleadingly dubbed “torture report,” an executive summary of which was released by the Senate Intelligence Committee, is a shameless and dangerous act of political grandstanding and moral preening.

Hillary’s Bad Politics And Worse Ideas

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage
Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Once again Hillary Clinton has given the Republicans some suicidal soundbites they should stash away for 2016 in the likely event she is the Democratic candidate for president. A review of some of her recent statements reveals that Clinton is not just entitled, money-grubbing, unlikeable, unpleasant, and unaccomplished.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

The End of Feminism

by Bruce Thorntonvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The new college sex codes do more to infantilize women than to empower them. 

In the News

Book Review: America In Retreat

by Bruce Thorntonvia FrontPage
Monday, December 1, 2014

The 6 years of Barack Obama’s foreign policy have seen American influence and power decline across the globe. Traditional rivals like China and Russia are emboldened and on the march in the South China Sea and Ukraine.