Johnson, Christopher. Derrida. New York: Routledge, 1999. An excellent biographical introduction to the thoughts of the philosopher, clearly presented and requiring no special background. Bibliography.
Lamont, Michele. “How to Become a Dominant French Philosopher: The Case of Jacques Derrida.” American Journal of Sociology 93, no. 3 (1987). Serves as a brief synopsis of the life of Jacques Derrida and his importance to French and North American philosophy. Contains an appendix that includes a list of secondary sources.
Lucy, Niall. A Derrida Dictionary. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2004. An entertaining and informative reference, including thoroughly readable discussions of terms and concepts.
Morag, Patrick. Derrida, Responsibility and Politics. Brookfield, Vt.: Ashgate, 1997. Morag’s examination is directed toward the foundations of legal, moral, and political authority and at the questioning of form itself as it relates to the ethico-political significance of deconstruction.
Norris, Christopher. Derrida. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1988. This text introduces Derrida in a post-Kantian light without delving too far into technical detail. Norris covers a broad spectrum of ideas while focusing on the subtle logic that surrounds Derrida’s reasoning. Its emphasis on the philosophical importance of ontology presents the reader with a solid foundation for further inquiry.
Powell, Jason. Jacques Derrida: A Biography. New York: Continuum, 2006. This biography provides an enlightening overview of Derrida’s work and writing.
Powell, Jim. Derrida for Beginners. New York: Writers and Readers, 1996. Powell offers a superb introduction to the thought and life of Derrida. Recommended for readers who are approaching Derrida’s ideas for the first time.
Roden, David, and Christopher Norris, eds. Jacques Derrida. 4 vols. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 2002. A comprehensive survey of key secondary literature on Derrida, organized thematically. Provides a core conceptual vocabulary of deconstructive terminology.
Sallis, John. Deconstruction and Philosophy: The Texts of Jacques Derrida. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988. This text represents the first attempt to compare Derrida’s deconstruction to Western philosophy up to and including Heidegger. Includes a work by Derrida previously unavailable in English.
Salusinszky, Imre. “Jacques Derrida.” In Criticism in Society. New York: Methuen, 1987. Focuses on the application of Derrida’s deconstruction to education. Includes an introduction to the main ideas of grammatology and deconstruction.
Whitford, Margaret. “Jacques Derrida.” In Makers of Modern Culture, edited by Justin Wintle. New York: Facts on File, 1981. Summarizes the life, work, and philosophical significance of Derrida.