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Foucault discusses the question of madness and how to define it by studying madness from 1500 to 1800--from the Middle Ages when insanity was considered part of everyday life and fools and madmen walked the streets, to the point when these people began to be considered a threat, asylums were built for the first time, and a wall was erected between the insane and the rest of humanity. Introduction by Jose Barchilon, M.D. Translated by Richard Howard.