The Punitive Society reviewed by David Garland

At the TLSHere’s a taste:

Though Foucault is often described as a “theorist” he is far from being a theory-builder in the conventional sense. He is, instead, a pragmatic thinker who conceptualizes and re-conceptualizes phenomena according to the problem at hand, adapting his theoretical toolbox in the process. In most of these lectures, there is little overt theorizing. Instead, Foucault narrates concrete historical events and episodes, proposes genealogical inquiries, and suggests low-level socio-historical explanations that stick close to the material.