9780679430742 / 0679430741

The Lives of Michel Foucault





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About the book:

david macey's biography of michel foucault is both the best researched and the most carefully analysed account of foucault's life currently available. While it lacks both the interpretative drive behind james miller's "the passion of michel foucault" (who reads foucault as a nietzscheian), and the treatment of friendships and specific themes throughout foucault's life given in "michel foucault et ses contemporains" (didier eribon's second work on foucault), macey is incredibly erudite, very well-balanced and a solid reader of foucault. macey recounts many more details of mf's life than any other account, and doesn't take foucault's self-reflective moments for granted as correct interpretations of his past actions and thought (Foucault gave tons of interviews, where he tended to reflect on his past works from his present perspective - so he could say that he had always been working on power etc, when this argument could undermine tensions and different trends in his work). he gives a solid, if long account of foucault's intellectual development, manages to place him in as much of a context as the biographical genre permits and, within this context, is mildly critical of his subject. macey is also a fun read. perhaps not as much as miller, but he certainly provides better balanced -and more interesting to read- accounts (than both miller and eribon) of foucault's works as well as of his life.

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