Here at last,Harold Innis's History of Communicationis a masterful rendering of many of the unpublished writings by the man who inspired Marshall McLuhan and taught us to look at the material and organizational infrastructure of communication media as foundational to manners of thought and the natures of civilizations. Compiled and edited by three of Canada's foremost communications historians, Buxton, Cheney and Heyer have pulled together some exciting, mind-morphing stuff!
Scholars and students of communication owe Buxton, Cheney, and Heyer an enormous debt. Their rigorous editing of previously unpublished chapters from Innis’s history of communications brings to the public extraordinary examples of his brilliant research and his groundbreaking conceptualization of communication. It is mandatory reading, essential as we address the dominance of digital communication in the twenty-first century.
We are fortunate to finally be able to read core chapters from Harold Innis' legendary unpublished history of communication thanks to the work of Buxton, Cheney, and Heyer. Ranging widely across time and space, Innis presents a kaleidoscopic portrait of the various surfaces, writing systems, and practices that have shaped human communication. Framed by the authors' excellent introduction, this book offers a fascinating new perspective on the linkages between material and cultural history that Innis was making in his later work.
This is a very lightly edited version of three chapters of Harold Innis's vast, unpublished, fact-packed manuscript on the history of communications. Innis (1894–1952) was a major 20th-century economic historian, known for his 'staple theory' of Canadian economic development. Fewer people know that in the last decade of his life, he pursued a study of the history of the pulp-and-paper industry that involved researching the history of humankind's communication activities back to ancient times. Materials (paper), technologies (printing), and the effects of communication (advertising) on society are what interested him. Presented here are the 'Coming of Paper' and chapters on 15th- and 16th-century printingwork the editors thought would interest today's scholars of book history. The content represents material that is not well reflected in Innis's Empire and Communications (1950), The Bias of Communication (1951), and Changing Concepts of Time (1952). The editors are professors of communication studies and economics in the US and Canada. Their added notes cover some of the work done since 1952 on the history of printed communications that is not reflected here. . . .Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through researchers/faculty.