Bars and stripes: Review of The Punitive Society (2016)

David Garland on Foucault’s The Punitive Society in the Times Literary Supplement.

Foucault News

David Garland, Bars and stripes. Review of The Punitive Society. The Times Literary Supplement, 27 January 2016.

The thinking and rethinking that led Michel Foucault to write his finest book.

Le Collège de France, founded in 1530 and located in Paris’s Latin Quarter, is one of France’s elite institutions. It is a public institution of higher education but it enrols no students and grants no degrees. Instead, it requires its professors to give an annual course of lectures – free of charge and open to all – reporting on their on­going research. Michel Foucault, who was admitted to the Collège in 1970 as professor of “The History of Systems of Thought”, took this obligation very seriously, preparing his lectures with exquisite care and presenting them to a packed amphitheatre at 5:45 pm each Wednesday from January to March. His lectures were intense, austere performances. Reading aloud from…

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