The Essential Foucault

Selections from Essential Works of Foucault, 1954-1984

The latest book in The New Press’s essential series collects key texts from the influential French philosopher

Few philosophers have had as significant an impact on contemporary thought as Michel Foucault. His complete uncollected writings, under the title Dits et écrits, were published in French in 1994 and in a three volume series from The New Press that brought the most important of these works—courses, articles, and interviews, many of them translated into English for the first time—to American readers. Now, Paul Rabinow and Nikolas Rose have collected the best pieces from the three-volume set into a one-volume anthology.

The Essential Foucault, which features a new and provocative introduction by Rabinow and Rose, is certain to become the standard text for all those interested in a comprehensive overview of Foucault’s thought.


“A rare opportunity to see how a great and original mind produces its work as well as itself at the same time . . . Foucault’s work . . . leaves no reader untouched or unchanged.”
—Edward Said, The New York Times Book Review
“What shines through in these pieces is [Foucault’s] remarkable liveliness of response, the extravagance of his curiosity, the originality and assurance of his formulations.”
—Geoffrey Galt Harpham, Boston Book Review