David Macey

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David Macey
Macey's publicity photograph
Macey's publicity photograph
Born(1949-10-05)5 October 1949
Died7 October 2011(2011-10-07) (aged 62)
OccupationHistorian, biographer, translator

David Macey (5 October 1949 – 7 October 2011) was an English translator and intellectual historian of the French left. He translated around sixty books from French to English, and wrote biographical studies of Jacques Lacan, Michel Foucault and Frantz Fanon.[1][2][3]


David Macey was born in Sunderland and grew up in Houghton-le-Spring. His father was a miner who had been sent down the pit aged fourteen, and his mother a woman whose family had been unable to afford for her to take up a grammar school place.[2][3] He was educated at Durham Johnston Grammar School and went on to read French at University College London,[1] where he wrote a PhD on Paul Nizan.[4]

Interested in trying to link Marxism and psychoanalysis,[1] Macey became a prolific contributor to Radical Philosophy.[2] From 1974 he taught part-time at North London Polytechnic, UCL and City University London. In 1975 he was a founding member of the British Campaign for an Independent East Timor.[3] After his partner Margaret Atack took a permanent post at Leeds University in 1981, Macey left academia to become a full-time writer and translator.[1] Later, in 1995, he was appointed research associate in the French department of Leeds University; in 2010 he became special professor in translation at the University of Nottingham.[3]

Macey married Margaret Atack in 1988, and they adopted three children.[1]

Selected works[edit]


Other works[edit]

  • Lacan in Contexts, London: Verso, 1988.
  • The Lives of Michel Foucault, London: Hutchinson, 1993.
  • Introduction to The four fundamental concepts of psycho-analysis by Jacques Lacan, tr. Alan Sheridan, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1994.
  • Frantz Fanon: A Life, London: Granta, 2000.
  • The Penguin dictionary of critical theory, London: Penguin, 2000.
  • Michel Foucault, London: Reaktion, 2004.


  1. ^ a b c d e Neil Belton, Macey: His historical studies of philosophers won over French readers, The Guardian, 2 November 2011
  2. ^ a b c Neil Belton and Peter Osborne, David Macey, 1949–2011: Biographer of the French intellectual Left, Radical Philosophy 171 (Jan/Feb 2012)
  3. ^ a b c d John G. Taylor and Elaine Capizzi, Dr David Macey: Internationally renowned French scholar, The Independent, 12 November 2011.
  4. ^ David Macey, The work of Paul Nizan: a study in the influence of a political viewpoint on literary themes and structures, PhD thesis, University College London, 1982.

External links[edit]