This introductory chapter discusses the coverage of the book, which focuses on English philosopher and social reformer Jeremy Bentham's failed attempt to build a prison called panopticon. It examines unexplored manuscripts that tell the story of Bentham's prolonged negotiations with the government and why the panopticon was never built. The book deals with the panopticon as an event in penal and political history. It also analyses some of the criticism of Bentham's obsession with building the panopticon and being involved in its day-to-day operations as an administrator.
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