Michel Foucault

Series: Critical Lives

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Throughout most of his career, Michel Foucault consistently refused to say much about himself and was reluctant to be defined in either professional or personal terms. His stance was Do not ask who I am, and do not ask me to remain the same'. In the last years of his life, he changed his stance, gave many interviews and began to speak of an aesthetics of existence' in which the life' and the works' merged into one. In this new biography and critical work, David Macey argues that these contradictory views make it possible to relate Foucault's work to his life in an original and exciting way. Moving between the major works and Foucault's life (and especially his political life) Macey demonstrates a vital aspect of Foucault's writings their concern with issues that apply to everyone and that have an immediate effect on our lives. The book also explores the complex intellectual-political world in which Michel Foucault lived and worked. It traces his career, which took him from a comfortable provincial background to the pinnacle of the French academic system, in terms of the networks of friendship and the relations of power that sustained it. Macey concludes that Foucault was a very good and successful strategist and campaigner and that his association with certain periodicals and journals at certain periods was not a matter of chance, but reflected strategic alliances that were formed within a political-cultural field in constant motion.