Who Was Jacques Derrida? is the first intellectual biography of
Derrida, the first full-scale appraisal of his career, his
influence, and his philosophical roots. It is also the first
attempt to define his crucial importance as the ambassador of
theory, the phenomenon that has had a profound influence on
academic life in the humanities. Mikics lucidly and sensitively
describes for the general reader Derrida's deep connection to his
Jewish roots. He succinctly defines his vision of philosophy as a
discipline that resists psychology. While pointing out the flaws of
that vision and Derrida's betrayal of his most adamantly expounded
beliefs, Mikics ultimately concludes that Derrida was neither so
brilliantly right nor so badly wrong as his enthusiasts and
critics, respectively, claimed.
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