Review of M. Dean & D. Zamora, The Last Man Takes LSD: Foucault and the End of Revolution (London: Verso, 2021) [Book Review]

Foucault Studies 31:257-261 (2021)
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The debate about how to interpret Foucault’s writings on neoliberalism has been going on for a while now: where some see in The Birth of Biopolitics a devastating critique of neoliberal reason, others see a laudatory exposition. Mitchell Dean and Daniel Zamora’s recent book The Last Man Takes LSD: Foucault and the End of Revolution is the newest contribution to this dispute. In it, the two authors rearticulate in book-length the position they have previously defended in several articles and book chapters: that Foucault was enticed by neoliberal thought and that his reading of Gary Becker and others significantly affected the intellectual trajectory of his later years. While the arguments about what Foucault really thought of neoliberalism are central to the book – and many will no doubt find fault with its interpretation of Foucault in this regard – I set the somewhat tired exegetical debates aside for the purposes of this review. Instead, I focus on the book’s, in my opinion, more interesting project of analysing the broader relations between neoliberalism, Foucauldian thought and Left politics. Despite being a well-written and in many places highly interesting and worthwhile book, it ultimately falls short of a compelling analysis in this regard.

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Jasper Friedrich
Oxford University


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