Books by Harold Bloom

The author of twenty-seven books and the recipient of many honors, including a MacArthur Fellowship and the Gold Medal for Belles Lettres and Criticism from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Harold Bloom is Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale


MACBETH by Harold Bloom
Released: April 2, 2019

"Older readers may wish this clear, concise, empathetic volume were available when they were in school."
The venerable and prolific literary scholar completes his Shakespeare's Personalities series with a lingering and deeply curious, even troubled, look at the titular character in the legendary play. Read full book review >
LEAR by Harold Bloom
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 24, 2018

"A measured, thoughtful assessment of a key play in the Shakespeare canon."
The noted critic and English professor digs deep to uncover what makes this play so profound. Read full book review >
CLEOPATRA by Harold Bloom
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 10, 2017

"A masterfully perceptive reading of this seductive play's 'endless wonders.'"
A wise inquiry into an "erotic and yet transcendent" play. Read full book review >
FALSTAFF by Harold Bloom
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 4, 2017

"In this first of five books about Shakespearean personalities, Bloom brings erudition and boundless enthusiasm."
An ardent admirer of Shakespeare analyzes an incomparably robust character. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 12, 2015

"As always, Bloom conveys the intimate, urgent, compelling sense of why it matters that we read these canonical authors."
Elegiac, gracious literary ponderings that group and compare 12 giants of American literature. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2011

"An autumnal summing-up, winding through 'the labyrinth of literary influence' to conclude, '[t]hat labyrinth is life itself.'"
The distinguished critic again examines the interactions among writers that have been the main focus of his attention since The Anxiety of Influence (1973). Read full book review >
JESUS AND YAHWEH by Harold Bloom
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 6, 2005

"Bloom barely provides a gloss on more substantial work, such as the two volumes by Jack Miles (God: A Biography, 1995; Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God, 2001), which are often invoked in these pages."
A return to the Bible by the noted Yale professor and literary critic, though the slapdash results lack the depth of most of the volumes he cites. Read full book review >
WHERE SHALL WISDOM BE FOUND? by Harold Bloom
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 7, 2004

"Another work of uncompromised literary analysis, thought, and feeling, from the mind of Bloom: towering, real, invaluable."
The latest from the venerable Bloom (Hamlet: Poem Unlimited, 2003, etc.) may not always be easy going, but it's invariably rewarding and rich. Read full book review >
HAMLET: POEM UNLIMITED by Harold Bloom
Released: March 10, 2003

"Shakespeare criticism that's big, alive, towering, deep, passionate—in an age that so industriously miniaturizes and demeans its literature."
Bloom says that in Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human (1998), other matters kept him from saying "most of what [he] thought and felt" about Hamlet. A lucky thing, since now the great-hearted critic offers this little gem—deftly snatching Hamlet away from its legions of minor readers and reclaiming it for its major ones. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 22, 2002

"Still, readers suitably prepared for Bloom, and of a hell-in-a-handbasket cast of mind with respect to the current culture, will find this a rewarding excursion."
A fresh installment in Bloom's Adleresque campaign to dust off the Western Civ 101 syllabus for a generation of readers led astray by the "impostors" running the academy. Read full book review >
HOW TO READ ANY WHY by Harold Bloom
Released: June 5, 2000

"A molehill of old lectures—some of them brilliant, all of them at least worth skimming through—that will probably get made into a mountain of academic politics."
The prolific critic Bloom (Shakespeare, 1998, etc.) has courted controversy in the last few years with his denunciations of the politically correct "School of Resentment" that now dominates most universities—and he has not been discreet in his attacks on many of the writers (such as Toni Morrison) that this school holds in highest esteem. Read full book review >
SHAKESPEARE by Harold Bloom
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 26, 1998

"Less interesting as a salvo in the ongoing culture wars than as an old-fashioned exercise in narrative criticism for the general reader and, as such, very nearly perfect."
A magisterial survey of the Bard's complete dramatic oeuvre by the always stimulating author of The Western Canon (1994). Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1998

"Norman Jeffares Irish Love Poems speaks for itself, while Ken Smith's Beyond Bedlam needs a word of caution: these poems written 'out of mental distress' may be, at times, extra-literary, but they are always compelling."
The Academy of American Poets, who initiated the designating of April as poetry month, hoped above all for one thing: more readers of verse. Read full book review >
WOMEN WRITERS OF CHILDREN'S LITERATURE by Harold Bloom
NONFICTION
Released: Sept. 8, 1997

In the Women Writers of English and Their Works series, an entry that brings together 12 children's book (female) writers, most of them dead (Louisa May Alcott, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Louise Fitzhugh, Kate Greenaway, E. Nesbit, L.M. Montgomery, Beatrix Potter, P.L. Travers, Laura Ingalls Wilder), but three who are most definitely not: Madeleine L'Engle, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Katherine Paterson. Read full book review >
VERGIL'S AENEID by Harold Bloom
POETRY
Released: Dec. 16, 1996

"The series, so far, goes from the Aeneid to Angelou; each volume is loaded with colorful educational tools and offers a ready source of structured information. (Nonfiction. 12+)"
This is the first entry in the Bloom's Notes series, part of the Contemporary Literary Views Books; Bloom (The Western Canon, 1994, etc.) introduces Vergil, then steps back as various writers and academic experts past and present provide analyses of theme, character, and literary worth, mostly through excerpts from previously published material. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 4, 1996

"Some of the facile intellectual judgments here seem to offer more a tour de force of knowledge and cleverness than the fruits of a sustained period of reflection."
A sometimes scintillating, sometimes exasperatingly esoteric examination of "our current American obsession with angels, with parapsychological dreams, with the 'near death experience' and its astral body manifestations" and, in particular, their "clear analogues in the formative period of ancient Gnosticism." Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 11, 1994

"An unashamed spur to contention, and all the better for it: an elegant and erudite provocation."
One of our biggest critical gun fires a characteristically Olympian broadside into the canon debate, no quarter spared for the politically correct. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: May 1, 1992

"Remarkable ideas remarkably set forth."
Bloom wanders a bit, away from Yale into "the Evening Land" of America and its churches—and reconstructs a remarkable diagram of the religious imagination. Read full book review >
THE BOOK OF J by David Rosenberg
NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 30, 1990

A fresh and lively translation, with extensive, provocative, and, likely, inflammatory commentary by Bloom, of the Book of J—the seminal text of the first five books of the Bible; a text, most biblical scholars agree, written around 950 B.C. by an unknown genius. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 1988

"Perhaps Bloom's most accessible book, and probably his most endearing: a bounty of coy surprises and typical leaps of brilliance."
An unguarded, somewhat informal study of poetic struggle and human faith, by the unsinkably prolific Harvard dynast of modern literary criticism. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 1, 1981

"In the end, one has the nagging suspicion that Bloom is promoting an art so vague, so self-erasing, that only the university critic could have the time and temper to cosset it."
Less a contribution to Bloom's esoteric theoretical system (The Anxiety of Influence, A Map of Misreading, etc.) than an essay in nervous self-classification—fascinating as such, but excruciating, too, in its twists and turns, its fecklessness. Read full book review >
THE FLIGHT TO LUCIFER by Harold Bloom
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 2, 1979

"A close-to-unreadable exercise, only for those who share Bloom's gnostic preoccupations—or collectors of literary oddities."
Bloom has been salting his literary criticism with dashes of kabbalistic and gnostic incunabula for years; here, in this first novel, he really lets his obsession run wild—and we can only hope that it's now out of his system. Read full book review >
Released: May 9, 1977

"Yet the book glows with insights into both literature and personality and is sure to stand as a megalith in Stevens' criticism."
Harold Bloom sees modern poetry as a battlefield where new poets fight against their predecessors. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 21, 1975

"He's as radical as he is erudite, and has a great deal to teach us about poetics, the canon, and the art of reading."
This is the concluding volume to the tetralogy that Yale professor Harold Bloom initiated in The Anxiety of Influence, his 1973 manifesto for so-called "antithetical criticism." Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 7, 1972

"Imposing, daemonic and — it seems so incidental — written with a mighty adversative flair."
Professor Bloom (Yale; author of Blake's Apocalypse, 1963, and Yeats, 1970) interprets modern poetic history — the history of poetry in a Cartesian climate — in terms of Freud's "family romance," and advances creative anxiety as its motive principle. Read full book review >
YEATS by Harold Bloom
Released: April 30, 1970

"His argument, though perhaps built on rationalist or unimaginative premises, will clearly, as Bloom no doubt intended, cause a stir among the Yeats factions here and elsewhere."
Yeats, with his grand style, his "artifice of eternity," his "singing masters" (Blake and Shelley and the ancient bards), his heroic soul "fastened to a dying animal," has always seemed the sort of superman the modern age either must instinctively distrust or deliriously admire. Read full book review >
Released: June 15, 1965

"A must."
A brilliant collection of twenty-six essays from various academic hands, votive offerings presented to the eminent Boswell scholar, Professor Frederick Pottle. Read full book review >
Released: March 8, 1963

"A complex, challenging commentary."
William Blake was the messiah of the imagination; in poem after poem he reached the everlasting gospel of the intellect and will; a once-in-a-lifetime "original", he lived and died virtually unknown, unhonored. Read full book review >
POETRY
Released: Oct. 6, 1961

"We suspect this will be more popular with teachers and assembly program planners than with the children for whom it was intended."
In this anthology of poetry arranged according to seasons of the year, "selections" usually found in collections for young people have been avoided in favor of less familiar works". Read full book review >