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Bodies and Pleasures: Foucault and the Politics of Sexual Normalization (review)

Bodies and Pleasures: Foucault and the Politics of Sexual Normalization (review) J S P Book Review Bodies and Pleasures: Foucault and the Politics of Sexual Normalization. Ladelle McWhorter. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1999. Pp. xx + 260. $39.95 h.c. 0-253-33558-2; $18.95 pbk. 0-253-21325-8. Fifteen years after his untimely death, Michel Foucault remains the most popular contemporary philosopher for American readers. His appeal cuts across disciplines from philosophy to literary criticism, history to social science. Ladelle McWhorter, in her new book, Bodies and Pleasures: Foucault and the Politics of Sexual Normalization, provides an excellent example of Foucault's American popularity. As a tribute to Foucault, the book is both expository and critical, and McWhorter's subject is the transforming effects of Foucault's work on her own. The book is remarkable in two ways. First, the autobiographical style may surprise readers. McWhorter makes good use of her own experiences growing up gay in the South in the 1960s and 1970s as a backdrop for interpreting Foucault's views about sexuality. Second, rather than primarily serving as an assessment of Foucault's ideas, the text emphasizes the effects of reading Foucault. As McWhorter explains, "My primary purpose is not to prove to anyone that Foucault's philosophical positions are the true and right ones," but to show how http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Speculative Philosophy Penn State University Press

Bodies and Pleasures: Foucault and the Politics of Sexual Normalization (review)

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 by the Pennsylvania State University.
ISSN
1527-9383
Publisher site
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Abstract

J S P Book Review Bodies and Pleasures: Foucault and the Politics of Sexual Normalization. Ladelle McWhorter. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1999. Pp. xx + 260. $39.95 h.c. 0-253-33558-2; $18.95 pbk. 0-253-21325-8. Fifteen years after his untimely death, Michel Foucault remains the most popular contemporary philosopher for American readers. His appeal cuts across disciplines from philosophy to literary criticism, history to social science. Ladelle McWhorter, in her new book, Bodies and Pleasures: Foucault and the Politics of Sexual Normalization, provides an excellent example of Foucault's American popularity. As a tribute to Foucault, the book is both expository and critical, and McWhorter's subject is the transforming effects of Foucault's work on her own. The book is remarkable in two ways. First, the autobiographical style may surprise readers. McWhorter makes good use of her own experiences growing up gay in the South in the 1960s and 1970s as a backdrop for interpreting Foucault's views about sexuality. Second, rather than primarily serving as an assessment of Foucault's ideas, the text emphasizes the effects of reading Foucault. As McWhorter explains, "My primary purpose is not to prove to anyone that Foucault's philosophical positions are the true and right ones," but to show how

Journal

The Journal of Speculative PhilosophyPenn State University Press

Published: Jan 2, 2000

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