Stuart EldenFeb 11, 2022
The Early Foucault
Polity Press 2021
What were the key ideas and influences on Michel Foucault’s early career? In The Early Foucault (Polity Press, 2021), Stuart Elden, Professor of Political Theory and Geography at the University of Warwick and author of the Progressive Geographies blog, charts Foucault’s formative intellectual years leading up to the publication of the ground-breaking The History of Madness. The book uses a range of new archival material, much of which has been only recently accessible, to show the influence of teachers, mentors, and colleagues, as well as Foucault’s practice as an academic and writer during the 1950s and early 1960s. Telling the story of the possible intellectual trajectories, in psychology and philosophy, Foucault might have followed, along with a clear examination of the roots of his later work, the book is essential reading across the humanities and social sciences.
Dave O'Brien is Chancellor's Fellow, Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Edinburgh's College of Art.