Two hundred and fifty years ago, a man condemned of attempting to assassinate the King of France was drawn and quartered in a grisly spectacle that suggested an unmediated duel between the violence of the criminal and the violence of the state. This groundbreaking audiobook by Michel Foucault, the most influential philosopher since Sartre, compels us to reevaluate our assumptions about all the ensuing reforms in the penal institutions of the West. For as Foucault examines innovations that range from the abolition of torture to the institution of forced labor and the appearance of the modern penitentiary, he suggests that punishment has shifted its focus from the prisoner's body to his soul - and that our very concern with rehabilitation encourages and refines criminal activity. Lucidly reasoned and deftly marshaling a vast body of research, Discipline and Punish is a genuinely revolutionary audiobook, whose implications extend beyond the prison to the minute power relations of our society.
©1975 Editions Gallimard, Paris (P)2013 Tantor
This is the second time I read D&P. (first time without audiobook) You always get something more the second time around but listening to the book intensified my experience!
We need ALL the Foucault books! Get on it Audible.com!
I've been hoping Discipline and Punish would appear as an audiobook and here it is with an excellent reader. Well done!
Now, I wonder if and when any Adorno will ever appear?
But I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - J.D. Salinger ^(;,;)^
I've had this book for nearly twenty years on my shelf. Before a couple weeks ago I never quite found myself in the "right" mood for a French post-structural look at power, prisons, and punishment. It is interesting reading this and thinking about how influential Foucault was in the modern criticisms of the penal system, and various areas of control (schools, hospitals, psychiatric facilities, the military and prisons).
I didn't realize until I read the prologue that the "Disciple" part of the title was originally Surveiller (Watch) et punir (Punish). It made sense back in the day to use discipline, but given the giant NSA observation issues, I kinda hope they consider changing the title at some point back to some variant of watch. That was a surprise part of the book that isn't communicated by discipline, and a part that is VERY relevant to the world we exist in.
Anyway, I could probably come up with some high-falutin reason to like or not like this book, but honestly, I kinda liked it, just not enough to put forward HUGE efforts of defense or evangelism. There were some of the obvious issues with a lot of postmodern historical books (big ideas, radical ways to look at things), but the damn flag is pretty high and pretty big and the pole is thin and isn't buried very deep. But God love Foucault and his big poles.
So, I still want to read his sexy books, his book on madness, and his book on the clinic, so I guess that makes this a four-star book. I don't want to read all of his stuff tomorrow, but I want to read more... but later, when nobody's watching.
I loved everything about this title including the narrator, but thought his performance would have been better suited for a more exciting title.
Discipline and Punish was a very effectively balanced historical and philosophical dissection of power in European society. I listen to a lot of my books while working and there was a lot of content that resonated with me while doing so, specifically the information about how workers are disciplined in the same manner as prisoners.
Hell, is this ever a white guy book. I mean, he doesn't make any secret of the fact he planned to write about the European penal system and Foucault does plunk right into the middle of modern philosophy, which is a time and field dominated by white men. And that doesn't make it inherently bad, but just keep in mind if you're going to read this, it is written by a white guy with little intentional thought to the topic of race as it relates to the penal system.
I'm not a scholar in the various legal systems of Europe, so I wonder how the French experience contrasts with other traditions. I can say that his take on the role of prison and punishment are quite interesting. I was also struck by the brutality of punishment in prior eras. Certainly, it would be necessarily that are a number of quite graphic description of some quite brutal punishments. They are not for the faint of heart. I wonder if we don't still have the public spectacle in things like the OJ Trial, although we were denied our pound of flesh. I wonder how these ideas will influence my own thoughts long term. I believe it will take some reflection to get down to that. Overall, a good read.
I was looking for a good academic book with a good narrator and this was perfect. The first part, punishment, was kinda hard to listen to because it was incredibly graphic, the second part, discipline, was pretty boring but very informative.
I actually wish there were more books like this with the same narrator.
Excellent performance. And Foucault is brilliant. A must-read for anyone in criminal justice, sociology, anthropology, or who cares about society and functions of social order.
Foucault offers a stunning account, though it really doesn't hit you until part two of the download (or it didn't hit me).
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