"A truly magnificent book... If there is a more comprehensive book on Foucault's work I have yet to see it. I anticipate those teaching and taking courses on Foucault's work will find Clare O'Farrell's book to be an invaluable resource."
- Barry Smart, University of Portsmouth
"A marvellous introduction. This volume captures the penetrating interdisciplinary concerns that have made Foucault a guide to so many beyond the frontiers of philosophy and history, beyond the borders of the academic community itself... This is an excellent introduction for the general reader to a passionate mind that continues to spread its influence."
- James Bernauer, Boston College
"Offers the best introduction to Foucault's philosophy... Superb glossary of major terms; excellent bibliography and chronology. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers."
- C.E. Reagan, Kansas State University, CHOICE
Michel Foucault's work is one of the most influential sources of ideas in the humanities and social sciences today. Clare O'Farrell offers a comprehensive and accessible introduction to Foucault's enormous, diverse and challenging output. Her book provides a range of practical tools and a reference work for readers who wish to understand and apply his ideas at both introductory and advanced levels. This volume includes:
A discussion of Foucault's situation in the contemporary context exploring his role as an iconic thinker, with clear explanations as to why his work is so difficult to come to grips with, and also importantly, why it is of interest to so many people.
The location of Foucault's work within its own historical, social and political setting.
Brief summaries in chronological order of all of Foucault's major works, including the more recently published volumes of lectures.
The organization of Foucault's work around five interrelated assumptions which underpin his world view: namely order, history, truth, power and ethics. Ideas for which he is well-known, such as archaeology, genealogy, discourse, discipline, and governmentality are discussed within the framework of these.
A chronology of Foucault's life, work and times.
An extensive list of key concepts in Foucault's work with detailed references pointing to where the relevant material can be found in his writings.
A wide-ranging list of resources and a bibliography of Foucault's work for easy consultation.
Dr. Clare O'Farrell is a senior lecturer in the School of Cultural and Professional Learning at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. She has written two books on Foucault, Foucault: Historian or Philosopher? (1989) and Michel Foucault (Sage: 2005), and has edited a large collection of essays on his work, Foucault the Legacy (1997). She was one of the founding editors of the peer reviewed online journal Foucault Studies. She also runs a resource website on Foucault, http://michel-foucault.com (online since 1997) and a blog titled Foucault News at www.foucaultnews.com.