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New Left Review 64, July-August 2010



It is ironic that Foucault had to go all the way to ancient Greece to grapple with contemporary political problems. [1] Michel Foucault, Le courage de la vérité: Le gouvernement de soi et des autres ii, Cours au Collège de France, 1983–1984, Gallimard/Seuil: Paris 2009, €27, paper 351 pp, 978 2 02 065870 6 Only at that distance, it seems, could he see clearly, like the farsighted reader who holds the page at arm’s length to focus. Arguably, Greek thought provided not only a temporal remove from the present but also a disciplinary separation from politics: what could be more iconic of scholarly seriousness than a return to the classics? Yet perhaps he also needed the safety of ancient Greece to experiment with dangerous ideas.

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Michael Hardt, ‘Militant Life’, NLR 64: £3

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