Graham Wilkin of Wellington was so impressed with Fifty Key Contemporary Thinkers: From Structuralism To Postmodernity by John Lechte, (Routledge1994, 1996 $24.95) that he sent us the descriptive cover “blurb”.

Fifty Key Contemporary Thinkers shows that thought in the twentieth century emphasises the relational dimension of existence rather than an essential dimension. This kind of thought leads to nihilism, but also to the point where nihilism might be overcome. In explaining new developments in literature, art and philosophy, John Lechte helps readers to achieve a more profound understanding of the underpinnings of post-war thought and culture.

Indeed [one is] guided through post-structuralism, semiotics, post-Marxism and postmodernity. It includes chapters on Bakhyin, Freud, Bourdieu, Chomsky, Derrida, Lacan, Kristeva, Saussure, Irigary, and Katka among others. Literary figures who have changed the way language is conceived are considered, together with philosophers, linguists, social theorists, feminists and historians.

John Lechte, a former student of Julia Kristeva, teaches social theory and the sociology of representation at Macquarie University in Australia. He has also worked in the fields of history, semiotics and politics and has an abiding interest in psychoanalysis. He has taught and published widely, on many aspects of modern thought.