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The Foucault Reader: An Introduction to Foucault's Thought (Penguin Social Sciences) Paperback – 28 Mar 1991


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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New edition (28 Mar. 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140124861
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140124866
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

One of the leading intellectuals of the twentieth century and the most prominent thinker in post-war France, Foucault's work influenced disciplines as diverse as history, sociology, philosophy, sociology and literary criticism.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 75 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
Foucault is much talked about; few people seem to read his own work. This may be so, because Foucault has the reputation of being difficult to grasp. This book, however, consists of carefully selected extracts and interviews. This makes Foucault more approachable. If you have always wanted to read Foucault, but did not dare to, this is a good start.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 7 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
Frstly, Foucault *is* difficult - there's no getting around the fact that he's frequently, and not unintentionally, opaque, complex and, sometimes, just deliberately tricksy. Rabinow writes a coherent introduction here to place Foucault into context, and reviews all his works, drawing together pertinent themes.

The book itself offers selected extracts from the longer works, and full essays in some cases such as 'What is an author?'. My criticism is that it would have been helpful to have had brief introductions to each selection/essay as well, putting it into specific context.

Whether you choose to see Foucault as a post-modernist or a post-structuralist, or accept his own negation of any kind of classifying 'grand narrative', it's practically impossible to be a student or scholar today and not engage with his thinking.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Jan. 1998
Format: Paperback
This book offers a good overview of Foucaults writings, making the reader (at least me) wanting to dig deeper into several of the subjects Foucault addressed. A shortcoming is that, considering the wealth of Foucault's ouevre, some of the chapters are too condensed to be used as more than an "intellectual appetizer". I assume that for the reader who is not familiar with Foucault at all, some other book like "Foucault for Beginners" might be more useful for getting an overview. Starting from there one might want to read more anyway.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Feb. 1999
Format: Paperback
If you're wondering about Foucault, this is a great book to pick up. Not all of the concepts make sense immediately, as it is a reader and Foucault is complicated, but it's still worth a look. Pick out some favorite chapters and then read further.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 July 1999
Format: Paperback
Being a reader, this is even a bit more difficult to understand than average Foucault books. However, it boils his philosphies down to one major point: truths are relative and because of this, establishing truths are excercises in power. Foucault makes a good argument and stands to be exactly right if indeed there are no absolutes.
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