TLS update

Simultan has had it with the TLS:

The TLS is an expensive paper; Rupert Murdoch does not need my money, nor does the institution of sneering right-wing smugness need any subsidies from me. I can find plenty of good causes for my $150, or whatever it is these days, and catch up on back issues at the library. Add to the above Jean Bethke Elshtain’s bizarre screed on man-hating feminists, any Kulturkritik from “In Brief,” or the now-infamous review of Madness and Civilization, which failed, to my knowledge, to change a single person’s thinking about Foucault, and was (I concede) an exercise in feather-ruffling… all fine if it costs a penny, but why pay for shit you can read for free at the National Review Online? Hey, they’re intellectuals too!

Meanwhile, Inside Higher Ed sez it’s all a big yawn and we already knew it:

But what makes the situation even stranger is that none of these complaints about Foucault’s scholarship are new.

A quarter century has now passed since two American researchers, Winifred Barbara Maher and Brendan Maher, published an article in the journal American Psychologist showing that Foucault’s insistence that there were literal “ships of fools” rested on a misreading of a couple of 16th century books. Other work testing Foucault’s generalizations about a move toward “confinement” of the mad beginning in the 17th century against the historical record found that his claims don’t hold up. The development of the asylum as a social institution was much slower than his account suggests, with no dramatic increase in the rate of incarceration accompanying the rise of bourgeois society.

Poor old TLS!


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