Is Foucault popular?

How popular is Foucault? If you hate Foucault and think he’s over-rated, or if you love Foucault and think he’s being unfairly criticized, now you can at least see what people are saying about him.

As Oscar Wilde said: “there’s only one thing worse than people talking about you, and that’s people not talking about you.”

So, good publicity or bad publicity, it’s all publicity. Now the Library of Congress can give you a timeline through their neat-o “Identities” feature.


Each year is clickable and takes you to the LoC entry for those works! Publications about Foucault are as many as ever: “of the trail of ink there is no end.”

We learn that Discipline and Punish is Foucault’s most popular book (no surprise there), but that it’s held in 2,201 libraries worldwide. The most popular of the biographies is James Miller’s (held in some 695 libraries) and that the most widely held book about him is the previously unknown (to me) Foucault’s challenge discourse, knowledge, and power in education.

This is overall, a nice resource and one that works best in comparing one person or area to another. Try against Tolkien (most popular book the Hobbit, in over 5,000 libraries) or Karl Marx.

(h/t Savage Minds).


2 Responses

  1. I am going to Roissy with the TGV, taking a book of him because the train is one of the rare moment where I can read a book, a perfect sliding quietness. It’s a publication of his 70’s course, naissance de la biopolitique, birth of biopolitic.

  2. im acctually doing my thesis about his book, discipline and punish…its awesome.

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