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Publisher's Summary

In this classic account of madness, Michel Foucault shows once and for all why he is one of the most distinguished European philosophers since the end of World War II. Madness and Civilization, Foucault's first book and his finest accomplishment, will change the way in which you think about society. Evoking shock, pity, and fascination, it might also make you question the way you think about yourself.

©1972 Editions Gallimard; English translation copyright 1965 by Random House, Inc. (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Superb scholarship rendered with artistry." ( The Nation)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance

Terrible narration

I was very excited to start this audiobook but found it very difficult to listen to the content with the narrators dramatized and unnecessarily emotional tone. This hardly seems like the kind of book that warrants such random emotional segements, which are completely irrelevant to the content mind you! Really distracting!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Crucial book. Bad reading performance.

Strange, incongruously melodramatic reading totally distracts from the text. The reader's voice trembles with emotion, speeds up, slows down, increases then decreases volume, without following the content. This kind of hammy performance is bad enough when you hear it in a Shakespeare performance. Why the reader thinks it works for this book is hard to imagine. Not easy to take this audiobook seriously, which is really disappointing.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Classic study; distracting narrator

If you could sum up Madness and Civilization in three words, what would they be?

Madness = social control

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Dave Gillies?

Gillies was not the right choice for this narration. The problem is not his Scottish accent; it's his ponderous style. Foucault's themes are heavy and his mode of exposition is intricate, but stylistically he is light on his feet, like a dancer or a featherweight boxer. This quality of his writing and thinking is completely lost in Gillies' rendition.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Horrible horrible narrator

Would you listen to Madness and Civilization again? Why?

Yes. Because I have to listen several times to get past the horrible narration.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

His voice goes up and down with ZERO consideration of the text.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No.

Any additional comments?

Will never listen to this narrator again. Horrible.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A complex and difficult listen, but one worth the effort

This work is translated from French to English and is read in what I believe is a Scottish accent. This combination of factors may account for some of the complexity encountered in comprehending certain passages and understanding the sometimes circuitous reasoning the author pens while making his more subtle philosophical points. That having been said, the readers accent marries well with the remarkably lyrical prose. The book has also provided a novel conceptualization of its topic that I had not yet encountered in my reading

1 of 2 people found this review helpful