Marshall McLuhan: The Medium and the Messenger

Overview

with a new foreword by Neil Postman When communications thinker Marshall McLuhan gave us the phrases "the medium is the message" and "global village," he was ahead of his time. Now, in the age of the digital revolution McLuhan and his work cannot be ignored by any student of culture and technology. Interest in McLuhan has increased dramatically since this biography was first published in 1989 to stunning reviews. The author has extensively revised this new edition to include additional information provided by ...

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Overview

with a new foreword by Neil Postman When communications thinker Marshall McLuhan gave us the phrases "the medium is the message" and "global village," he was ahead of his time. Now, in the age of the digital revolution McLuhan and his work cannot be ignored by any student of culture and technology. Interest in McLuhan has increased dramatically since this biography was first published in 1989 to stunning reviews. The author has extensively revised this new edition to include additional information provided by McLuhan's family and friends, and to present an even clearer and more absorbing personal picture of McLuhan. The book explains the relevance to today's society of a man who reached the height of his fame in the 1960s. The foreword by Neil Postman is original to this edition.* Not for sale in Canada

The biography of the famed media guru.

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Editorial Reviews

LA Book Review
The best -- I might say the only good -- pr&#233cis of McLuhan's thought I have ever read.
LA Times Book Review
The best -- I might say the only good -- precis of McLuhan's thought I have ever read.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Was media guru Marshall McLuhan a deep thinker, a charlatan, a '60s fad or a bit of all three? ``His books will probably be mined for years to come by clever prospectors hunting . . . for bits of invaluable ore,'' observes Marchand in this first full-scale biography. McLuhan grew up on the Canadian prairie and learned ``irrepressible verbal aggressiveness'' from his violent-tempered mother. He had a photographic memory and suffered repeated blackouts as an adult. He taught English at Cambridge University in the 1930s, becoming an ardent convert to Catholicism, a cultural conservative steeped in T. S. Eliot, scornful of popular culture. Then, at the University of Toronto, this self-described ``intellectual thug'' discovered his true metier in the global network of electronic media and communications. Marchand, who catalogued McLuhan's papers for the National Archives in Ottawa, painstakingly reconstructs the evolution of his thought in this revealing biography. Photos. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Almost 10 years after his death and 25 years after the publication of his Understanding Media ( LJ 6/1/64) , there is still much curiosity about McLuhan and his theories. These two books, different as they are, have one thing in common--they help to explain the man who claimed that electronic technology in the mass media has reshaped and restructured the patterns of our social and private lives and who gave us such familiar terms as ``the global village'' and ``the medium is the message.'' The books also complement each other rather nicely. Marchand's is a scholarly, straightforward account of McLuhan's life, with the facts and phases of his career presented in chronological order. The author has drawn in other pertinent material into the narrative, including excerpts of McLuhan's writings and talks, the comments of those who knew him, and this original thinker's emotional reactions to life. The Sanderson and Macdonald book is a representative selection of McLuhan's writings, including some of his famous aphorisms, and a collection of observations and essays about McLuhan by others. Both the McLuhan aficianado and the reader who knows little or nothing about him should be grateful for the opportunity to make his acquaintance in these books. See also McLuhan and Bruce Powers's The Global Village: Transformations in World Life and Media in the 21st Century , reviewed on p. 00.-- A.J. Anderson, G.S.L.I.S., Simmons Coll., Boston
From the Publisher
"Beautifully written-- brings instant recognition of that weird, exhilarating vortex of ideas that McLuhanism meant to us." -The Globe and Mail

"An altogether splendid job... a labour of love-- Thanks to Philip Marchand's biography, McLuhan, the man, is back." -The Toronto Star

"Brilliant-- a graceful and eloquent discussion-- [Marchand's] book is McLuhanesque." -Robert Fulford

"Intensely absorbing." -The New York Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262631860
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 7/8/1998
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

An award-winning journalist, Philip Marchand catalogued the McLuhan papers for the National Archives of Canada. Currently, he is the Books Columnist for The Toronto Star.
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