Michel Foucault, the French thinker, historian, and epistemologist, died in 1984 at the age of fifty-seven. In recent years his reputation has grown rapidly in American academic life. Professor Frederick Crews of the University of California, writing in The American Scholar, speaks of “an exodus from the camp of Marx to that of the late Michel Foucault, who is also the clear favorite of a new academic generation that cares little for the tortuous history of Marxist apologetics.” Crews adds:

It is a nice question . . . whether Foucauldian analysis arose in order to thwart Marxism or, rather, to save its debunking spirit from its doomed propositional content. Foucault himself, significantly, began as a Marxist and a student of Althusser’s; they were both Party members in the dreary Lysenko period. . . . [T]he ever-shifting, self-ironic, and...


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