Society Must be Defended: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975-76: Lectures at the College De France, 1975 76 Paperback – 7 Oct 2004
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"[Foucault] has an alert and sensitive mind which can ignore the familiar surfaces of established intellectual codes and ask new questions...[He] gives dramatic quality to the movement of culture."
About the Author
Michel Foucault was born in France in 1926. At the time of his death in 1984, he was without doubt France's most prominent thinker.
David Macey is the translator of numerous works from French and the author of LACAN IN CONTEXTS, THE LIVES OF MICHEL FOUCAULT, FRANTZ FANON: A LIFE and THE PENGUIN DICTIONARY OF CRITICAL THEORY
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Top Customer Reviews
I would recommend this book both to existing Foucault readers and enthusiasts, and to those new to Foucault - especially if they already have interests in areas such as theorising everyday life, political theory, history of thought, social history, the French and English revolutions and ideas of the body, bio-power etc., but also because this book is as good as any as a way into the massive and intensely rewarding corpus of Foucault's work.
There is a lot of rich, intellectual material here, and it is a shame that some of the themes explored here do not reappear in his later works. For that reason, I think Society Must be Defended is essential reading for anyone interested in Foucault's work in general, or for anyone wishing to grapple with Foucault's analytics of power. The material here greatly compliments the History of Sexuality Vol. 1, so I would recommend reading them together.
It is the lectures of Foucault at the College de France and therefore the text does have some edits where record tapes (of which the book has been constructed, along with his lecture notes) have not picked up what has Foucault meant or said.
I've lent it out to a few friends who have since bought their own copies. Even if you may come to not be able to stand the sight of Foucault; this is a very persuasive argument in favour of new ways of analysing power and war. This book may also encourage you to start reading other French thinkers like Deleuze or Derrida , it certainly made me want to read more Foucault! (There are more books on different topics in the lecture series).
Not an easy book to read and certainly not to be read once or all in one go; but well worth a look if you're interested in Politics, History, Security studies and War.
Only some words of warning: this book and others (by Foucault) may make you become a semi-religious born again Foucauldian.
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