Michel Foucault was a different kind of intellectual from his predecessors, one whose work articulated a new relation both to the institutions in which he worked and to a wider public. By the end of his life, he held a prestigious chair at the Collège de France and his work was leaving its traces, more or less directly, on an extraordinarily wide range of academic research. As Didier Eribon’s recent biography makes apparent, it was not a position that he would have achieved, despite the power of his work, had he not become an active member of the French academic system and its patronage networks; had he not, for instance, been involved in the Gaullist reform of higher education in the early sixties (Eribon 1989, 158-61). But, as Eribon also makes clear, his personal history included a suicide attempt, a nervous breakdown, a short period of institutionaiization, a police file, accusations of theft as a student and so on. To the end (he was, tragically, to die of complications following his infection with HIV), his gayness remained a source of potential scandal within conservative educational institutions. It might be thought that there is nothing unusual in this: such divisions between the public and the private are common enough, after all. What is remarkable in Foucault’s career, though, is the way in which he brought the two sides of his life together. His academic skills, resources and prestige worked in the interest of his personal life and all those who share such lives-the institutionalized, prisoners, the “mad,” those whose enjoy sexual acts outside of the so-called “normal,” and other victims of socially sanctioned violence.