Foucault: Philosophy in an Hour

  • by Paul Strathern
  • Narrated by Jonathan Keeble
  • 1 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Philosophy for busy people. Listen to a succinct account of the philosophy of Foucault in just one hour.
The French philosopher Michel Foucault set about his task rather like a historian. After painstaking research, he concluded that knowledge and power were intimately related throughout history. He illustrated this central idea of his philosophy through studies of madness, sexuality, and discipline and punishment, arguing that there is no such thing as absolute truth, only different truths about reality at particular moments – truths that fulfil the needs of power.
This audiobook is an expert account of Foucault’s life and philosophical ideas – entertainingly written and is above all easy listening. Also included are selections from Foucault’s work, suggested further reading, and chronologies that place Foucault in the context of the broader scheme of philosophy.

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What the Critics Say

”Well-written, clear and informed, they have a breezy wit about them . . .I find them hard to stop reading.” (New York Times)
”Witty, illuminating, and blessedly concise” (Wall Street Journal)
”Each of these little books is witty and dramatic and creates a sense of time, place, and character . . . I cannot think of a better way to introduce oneself and one's friends to Western civilization.” (Boston Globe)
”A godsend in this era of the short attention span.” (New York Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Withering putdowns

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

People who have an innate distaste for post-structuralism and an inner conservatism will enjoy this work. As will people who think that a text can be illuminated by preceding 30 minutes of biographical tittle tattle. Something completely at odds with Foucault's method.


What could Paul Strathern have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

been less dismissive of Foucault's immense contribution to the history of thought. Strathern plays lip service to but does really understand how much Foucault's work challenges Stratherns own implicit assumptions.


What didn’t you like about Jonathan Keeble’s performance?

Keeble manages to relay Strathern's pomposity rather well.


Any additional comments?

Strathern's withering put downs and outright dismissal of key ideas are not helpful to the newcomer to Foucault's ideas. Much more sympathetic accounts are available.

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- A. S. Conio

Interesting but...

It was an interesting introduction to Foucault's philosophy and there were a few interesting facts that I didn't know about but I was hoping for more philosophical substance, more explanations of main concepts. When he started wearing his turtle neck was of less importance to me but it was indeed a nice to know fact.
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- Joanna

Book Details

  • Release Date: 25-07-2013
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited