Author(s): Michel Foucault (Paul Rabinov Ed.)
Michel Foucault was one of the most influential philosophical thinkers in the contemporary world, someone whose work has affected the teaching of half a dozen disciplines ranging from literary criticism to the history of criminology. But of his many books, not one offers a satisfactory introduction to the entire complex body of his work. The Foucault Reader was commissioned precisely to serve that purpose.
The Reader contains selections from each area of Foucault’s work as well as a wealth of previously unpublished writings, including important material written especially for this volume, the preface to the long-awaited second volume of The History of Sexuality, and interviews with Foucault himself, in the course of which he discussed his philosophy at first hand and with unprecedented candor.
This philosophy comprises an astonishing intellectual enterprise: a minute and ongoing investigation of the nature of power in society. Foucault’s analyses of this power as it manifests itself in society, schools, hospitals, factories, homes, families, and other forms of organized society are brought together in The Foucault Reader to create an overview of this theme and of the broad social and political vision that underlies it.
Michel Foucault, one of the leading philosophical thinkers of the 20th century, was born in Poitiers, France, in 1926. He lectured in universities throughout the world; served as director at the Institut Français in Hamburg, Germany and at the Institut de Philosophie at the Faculté des Lettres in the University of Clermont-Ferrand, France; and wrote frequently for French newspapers and reviews. His influence on generations of thinkers in the areas of sociology, queer theory, cultural studies, and critical thinking are not to be underestimated. Among his many books were the Foucault Reader, Society Must Be Defended, and Great Ideas.
At the time of his death in June 1984, he held a chair at France’s most prestigious institutions, the Collège de France. Foucault was the first public figure in France to die from HIV/AIDS.