The Essential Foucault is, indeed, essential for understanding Foucault's work, but is largely limited to the later period conventionally (if reductively) understood to involve questions of the subject and power where Foucault is typically characterized (again reductively) as moving from questions of archaeology to questions of genealogy. A careful reading of Rabinow and Rose's fine introduction provides a map of their itinerary. It begins with the question "How should we use Foucault's work today?" and answers that question quite specifically: we should use Foucault "to set ourselves in motion." Rabinow and Rose set an itinerary that follows Foucault's concern with "politics and power" through the concepts of "governmentality" and "biopower," two terms that make visible the co-constitutive relationship between freedom and constraint in the regimes of liberalism and neoliberalism. One way to get at this aspect of Foucault's project is to examine how "sexuality and gender, medicine and illness, the prison and punishment, psychiatry and psychiatric reform, social insurance and social security are "political issues: they are aspects of the ways in which we are governed, they involve asymmetrical relations of power, and they are subject to contestation," (ix). Rather than suggesting that truth and power are made and wielded by those at the top, Foucault's works focus quite specifically on the often asymmetrical relationships between institutions, language, practices and people (the last at the level of the individual and of populations). The implication of Foucualt's (and most post-structuralist) work is that the conscious acting individual (the subject) is not born but instead is made (subjected) through on-going interaction with the world around him or her and that that interaction involves institutions, language, practices and people which precede them. (For an interesting take on this, see Haraway's "Manifesto for Cyborgs.") Obviously, this phenomenon is recursive, an instance of what Bourdieu in language that is too concrete has called "structuring structures." More recently scholars in Science and Technology Studies, such as John Law (After Method) and Charis Thompson (Making Parents), have provided more nuanced treatments of this by respectively naming the structure a "hinterland" and the structuring "ontological choreography." In contrast to arguing that there is no truth, Foucault's point is that truth is situated, an argument interestingly elaborated and extended by Donna Haraway in her article "Situated Knowledges." This is complicated stuff, but well worth the effort for scholars and laypersons interested in understanding Foucault's arguments rather than caricaturing them.