Passion Of Michel Foucault / Edition 1

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Based on extensive new research and a bold interpretation of the man and his texts, The Passion of Michel Foucault is a startling look at one of this century's most influential philosophers. It chronicles every stage of Foucault's personal and professional odyssey, from his early interest in dreams to his final preoccupation with sexuality and the nature of personal identity.

The first detailed account of Foucault's lifelong obsession with death, suicide, drugs, and sadomasochistic eroticism, James Miller's impressively documented study is a provocative exploration of the life and work of one of the most influential, original, and controversial figures in 20th-century intellectual history.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
Miller gives us the portrait of a vibrant, incandescent, fearless, and luminous mind--yes, perhaps self-destructive and all too human, but one that can never be accused of banality, mediocrity, pettiness, or naiveté.
[A] bold and brilliant reconstruction of Foucault's life and thought...Miller's argument is persuasive.
Washington Post Book World
Probably the best general introduction to Foucault's later thinking.
New Republic
Miller's controversial book is the product of prodigious research...[H]e discusses madness, death, and homosexuality, and particularly sadomasochism in great, graphic, almost sensational detail.
Edward W. Said
James Miller's impressively documented study of Foucault's life in philosophy is an electric, disturbing, and brilliantly provocative work, truly worthy of its subject, and essential companion to a reading of late twentieth century Western culture.
Edmund White
James Miller may shock some readers with his way of talking about both sex and philosophy, Nietzsche and AIDS, theories of knowledge and sadomasochism, but out of these contrasting elements he constructs a heroic life, one that illustrates the very notion Foucault developed late in his career, the idea that a philosopher's life should be exemplary and that he himself should be a lover of wisdom, a seeker of truth.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A brilliant, sensational study of the life and thought of the French historian/philosopher/social activist. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Foucault has been acclaimed as one of France's most influential and certainly controversial 20th-century philosophers. Miller has thoroughly researched and presented Foucault's intellectual journey, from his early (and lifelong) fascination with Nietzsche, through his studies in psychiatry in Sweden, attempts to remove his personality when presenting a history of science, and radical leftist political activism, to his delving into the world of sensation, the ``limit-experience,'' and the will to know. Miller details Foucault's quest to understand himself, which included an exploration of homosexuality and sadomasochism, experimentation with drugs, and a fascination with death. He also recounts Foucault's death from AIDS. This important and readable study is recommended for academic and large public libraries.-- Ann Irvine, Montgomery Cty. P.L., Md.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674001572
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 4/14/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 492
  • Sales rank: 1,518,183
  • Product dimensions: 1.10 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

James Miller is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of Liberal Studies at the New School for Social Research.
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Table of Contents


1. The Death of the Author

2. Waiting for Godot

3. The Heart Laid Bare

4. The Castle of Murders

5. In the Labyrinth

6. Be Cruel!

7. An Art of Unbearable Sensations

8. The Will to Know

9. The Distant Roar of Battle

10. The Scripting of the Self

11. The Secrets of a Man


A Note on Sources and Translations

Abbreviations Used in Notes




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