Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality is one of the most influential philosophical works of the twentieth century and has been instrumental in shaping the study of Gender, Feminist Theory and Queer Theory. But Foucault’s writing can be a difficult book to grasp as Foucault assumes a familiarity with the intellectually dominant theories of his time which renders many passages obscure for newcomers to his work.

The Routledge Guidebook to Foucault’s The History of Sexuality offers a clear and comprehensive guide to this groundbreaking work, examining:

  • The historical context in which Foucault wrote
  • A critical discussion of the text, which examines the relationship between The History of Sexuality, The Use of Pleasure and The Care of The Self
  • The reception and ongoing influence of The History of Sexuality

Offering a close reading of the text, this is essential reading for anyone studying this enormously influential work.

chapter |8 pages


chapter 1|33 pages

The will to know

chapter 2|31 pages

Power over life

chapter 4|32 pages

Sex, racism and death

chapter 6|34 pages

The History of Sexuality and queer theory

chapter 7|37 pages

A genealogy of the desiring subject