Alan D. Schrift has hereby done a great service to anyone interested in French thinkers and their thought. Twentieth-Century French Philosophy (Blackwell) chronicles the lineage, the history, and the context of all of the major thinkers and thought of France in the last hundred years. This includes a succinct chronology, brief biographies, and a lengthy historical narrative — the latter of which might seem anathema to most French thinkers, but helps glue everything together here. And when we’re talking about Derrida, Deleuze, Foucault, Barthes, Blanchot, Sartre, Bataille, Bourdieu, Althusser, de Beauviour, Levinas, and Kristeva, among many others, we need as much cohesion as we can find.
Blackwell excels at releasing these indispensable collections that help guide the reader through what is often treacherous intellectual ground. Schrift’s Twentieth-Century French Philosophy is no exception.
I marshal the middle between Mathers and McLuhan.