Marshall McLuhan: You Know Nothing of My Work!

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A crackling look at the philosopher whose founding ideas were at once obscure and eerily prophetic.

Marshall McLuhan, the celebrated social theorist who defined the culture of the 1960s, is remembered now primarily for the aphoristic slogan he coined to explain the emerging new world of global communication: “The medium is the message.” Half a century later, McLuhan’s predictions about the end of print culture and the rise of “electronic ...

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Overview

A crackling look at the philosopher whose founding ideas were at once obscure and eerily prophetic.

Marshall McLuhan, the celebrated social theorist who defined the culture of the 1960s, is remembered now primarily for the aphoristic slogan he coined to explain the emerging new world of global communication: “The medium is the message.” Half a century later, McLuhan’s predictions about the end of print culture and the rise of “electronic inter-dependence” have become a reality—in a sense, the reality—of our time.

Douglas Coupland, whose iconic novel Generation X was a “McLuhanesque” account of our culture in fictional form, has written a compact biography of the cultural critic that interprets the life and work of his subject from inside. A fellow Canadian, a master of creative sociology, a writer who supplied a defining term, Coupland is the ideal chronicler of the uncanny prophet whose vision of the global village—now known as the Internet—has come to pass in the 21st century.

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Editorial Reviews

Ken Auletta
“This delightful biography both entertains and instructs…illuminating the profound impact McLuhan had on how we think about media and communication.”
Walter Kirn
“To read You Know Nothing of My Work is to behold a cultural Vulcan mind meld of mesmerizing intimacy.”
David Carr
This is the kind of book that will deliver major annoyance to academics who have made a career out of deconstructing McLuhan's effort to define the modern media ecosystem. But to a reader interested in a little serious fun, a dip into someone we pretend to understand but don't really know, You Know Nothing of My Work! is a welcome taunt. The book rewards by refusing to slip into the numbing vortex of academic discourse, taking a fizzy, pop-culture approach to explaining a deep thinker, one who ended up popularized almost in spite of himself.
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935633167
  • Publisher: Atlas
  • Publication date: 11/30/2010
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas Coupland has published twelve novels since his first novel, Generation X, was published in 1991. He is also a visual artist, with exhibitions in North America, Europe, and Asia. He lives in Vancouver.

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