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Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prisonby Michel Foucault
Synopses & Reviews
Two hundred and fifty years ago, a man condemned of attempting to assassinate the King of France was drawn and quartered in a grisly spectacle that suggested an unmediated duel between the violence of the criminal and the violence of the state. This groundbreaking book by Michel Foucault, the most influential philosopher since Sartre, compels us to reevaluate our assumptions about all the ensuing reforms in the penal institutions of the West. For as Foucault examines innovations that range from the abolition of torture to the institution of forced labor and the appearance of the modern penitentiary, he suggests that punishment has shifted its focus from the prisoner's body to his soul—and that our very concern with rehabilitation encourages and refines criminal activity.
Lucidly reasoned and deftly marshaling a vast body of research, Discipline and Punish is a genuinely revolutionary book, whose implications extend beyond the prison to the minute power relations of our society.
In this brilliant work, the most influential philosopher since Sartre suggests that such vaunted reforms as the abolition of torture and the emergence of the modern penitentiary have merely shifted the focus of punishment from the prisoner's body to his soul.
About the Author
Michel Foucault (19261984) was a French philosopher, historian, social theorist, and philologist. He lectured in universities throughout the world; served as the director at the Institut Français in Hamburg, Germany, and at the Institute de Philosophie at the Faculté des Lettres in the University of Clermont-Ferrand, France; and wrote frequently for French newspapers and reviews. At the time of his death in 1984, he held a chair at France's most prestigious institution, the Collège de France.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. His works include The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences; Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason; and Death and the Labyrinth: The World of Raymond Roussel. British-born Simon Prebble has built a successful career that spans the Atlantic. As a stage and television actor, he has played in everything from soaps to Shakespeare, but it is as a veteran narrator of over four hundred audiobooks that he has made his mark since coming to the United States in 1990. As one of AudioFile magazine's Golden Voices, Simon has received over twenty Earphones Awards and five Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Awards, and he has been a finalist fourteen times for an Audie Award, the audiobook industry's version of the Oscar. In 2006, Publishers Weekly named him Narrator of the Year, and he was named Booklist's 2010 Voice of Choice.
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