Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) was director of studies at the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales, Paris, and professor of humanities at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of many books published by the University of Chicago Press. Peggy Kamuf is the Marion Frances Chevalier Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. She has written, edited, or translated many books, by Derrida and others, and is coeditor of the series of Derrida's seminars at the University of Chicago Press.
"Those who attended Derrida's seminars and saw him 'live' will have been struck by the contrast between his reputation as a "notoriously difficult philosopher" (to quote The New York Times obituary) and the articulate, focused presentation on display in his classroom. His commentaries on the nuances of a single sentence or word were legendary for their length and intricacy, but he never failed to foreground the fundamental stakes of the debates at hand and the central questions motivating the analysis. The result was a rare combination of erudition, argumentative dexterity, and a style of interpretation that made it clear that the real master in the room was the text at hand. . . . What is certain is that this Death Penalty volume offers a rich, innovative approach to a confounding topic. One can only hope that it will be broadly read and debated."-- "Los Angeles Review of Books"