Michel Foucault, author of Madness and Civilization and Discipline and Punish, collected the relevant documents of the case, including medical and legal testimony, police records. and RiviÃ¨re's memoir. The RiviÃ¨re case, he points out, occurred at a time when many professions were contending for status and power. Medical authority was challenging law, branches of government were vying. Foucault's reconstruction of the case is a brilliant exploration of the roots of our contemporary views of madness, justice, and crime.
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