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4.1 out of 5 stars
23
History of Madness
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on December 27, 2012
I still fail to understand what Derrida found unacceptable about this work, now available to us in English, restored to its full length and original title. Let's remember, this is not directly a work of philosophy. In terms of importance, one should compare it to Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire...in short, a history book. But ye, more than that...a history of attitudes and unique human evasions, establishing patterns of taboo. Read along side George Bataille's "Death and Sensuality" one begins to respect "un-reason" and the strange reactions of society when confronted with taboo phenomena. One should use this book as a means to seeing how our current modes of viewing the world are not privileged. As Dr. Jack Kevorkian points out in his book "Glimmeriqs", our established conventions for determining the moral rectitude of an act are not only relative, but more importantly, almost totally unexamined, prejudiced and irrational based on whatever seems the norm of our current cultural zeitgeist, which at present is half-positivist science and half-christian hodge-podge. Nihilism remains unspoken.

(Glimmeriqs is a terrible, if not un-readable book, but its author was at least a man of interest, and I think him a nice example of our own present day taboos. Take a moment to watch the documentary on him. It's quite enjoyable.)
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on September 28, 2013
This is a marvellous book, packed with historical information about the treatment of the insane and attitudes towards mental illness. I am so glad I have read it, although it is rambling. The language is brilliant and beautiful; the style sometimes arcane.
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on November 17, 2012
Foucault's study of the history of how society has viewed madness over time is an important and thought provoking work. Anyone with an interest in mental health would find this work of value, How we as a society view madness impacts on how we treat our fellow humans.
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on December 1, 2016
good
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on May 31, 2015
Foucault is essential reading to understand today's systemic breakdown. the history of prisons is a must read also.
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on September 18, 2015
Excellent condition!
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on July 13, 2009
Finally, the first great work by the 20th century's most influential and prescient thinker is available in full in a beautiful translation. Routledge is one of my favorite publishers and both the paperback and hardback editions meet their usual high standards. As is usual with Foucault, there is so much to think about in every sentence the work is best taken in small doses. It's also very depressing, but amply repays the effort and stamina required to read.
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on June 1, 2013
When Foucault sticks to the facts and his archival research (which is exemplary) he is very readable. When he theorises, he (or perhaps his translator) verges on the incomprehensible. He also should have learned and applied the maxim that 'less is more'.
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on May 19, 2016
This book is extremely dense and exceedingly difficult to follow. I picked it up thinking I'd get a good historical review on the subject matter. That is included but, honestly, I felt like most of this book was over my head, and I'm not an uneducated person. This is probably appropriate for a graduate level history or philosophy student.
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on June 25, 2012
This is essential for Foucault fanatics and those looking to review his work. I purchased this collection prior to starting work on my graduate thesis, and it was so helpful having everything I needed in one spot. The book is really heavy and intense, but it works for academic audiences.
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