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1. The Medium is the Massage
2. Understanding Media: The Extensions
3. Understanding Media: The Extensions
4. War and Peace In the Global Village
5. Digital McLuhan: A Guide to the
6. Marshall McLuhan: The Medium and
7. The Global Village: Transformations
8. The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making
9. Understanding Me: Lectures and
10. McLuhan: A Guide for the Perplexed
11. The Essential Mcluhan
12. Understanding New Media: Extending
13. Marshall McLuhan: You Know Nothing
14. Marshall McLuhan
15. The Mechanical Bride - Facsimile
17. Marshall McLuhan
18. Marshall Mcluhan-Unbound
19. The Medium and the Light: Reflections
20. The Medium is the Message

1. The Medium is the Massage
by Marshall McLuhan, Quentin Fiore
Paperback: 160 Pages (2005-10)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$8.00
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Asin: 1584230703
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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30 years after its publication Marshall McLuhan's The Medium is the Massage remains his most entertaining, provocative, and piquant book.With every technological and social "advance" McLuhan's proclamation that "the media work us over completely" becomes more evident and plain. In his words, 'so pervasive are they in their personal, political, economic, aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, or unaltered'.

McLuhan's remarkable observation that "societies have always been shaped more by the nature of the media by which men communicate than by the content of the communication" is undoubtedly more relevant today than ever before. With the rise of the internet and the explosion of the digital revolution there has never been a better time to revisit Marshall McLuhan.Amazon.com Review
The Medium is the Massage is Marshall McLuhan's mostcondensed, and perhaps most effective, presentation of hisideas. Using a layout style that was later copied by Wired,McLuhan and coauthor/designer Quentin Fiore combine word and image toillustrate and enact the ideas that were first put forward in thedense and poorly organized UnderstandingMedia. McLuhan's ideas about the nature of media, theincreasing speed of communication, and the technological basis for ourunderstanding of who we are come to life in this slendervolume. Although originally printed in 1967, the art and style inThe Medium is the Massage seem as fresh today as in the summerof love, and the ideas are even more resonant now that computerinterfaces are becoming gateways to the global village. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (27)

4-0 out of 5 stars EYEOPENING
McLuhan was a prophet of his time for communications.His message is timeless and provides expert ideas seamlessly through this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Quality
A great book for those studying the differences in the types of media. Has a nice, thick cover too, not thin paper.

5-0 out of 5 stars So revolutionary we now view it as conventional
Perhaps the best test of new ideas is how quickly they morph to become conventional wisdom.

Viewed from this perspective this book is one of a few excellent examples.

It evidenced the first use of the term global village.But more than that it accurately portrayed what we have since come to view as the means of communication in that village...the modern technological media.

By its necessarily condensed communication structure it's created stealth ideas that quickly cease the public consciousness (only all too often, to be just as quickly overthrown).

Though the story through pictures idea is now admittedly just as dated as the phrase "right on" which came from the same time period the book nevertheless remains interesting reading for students of communications, the media and popular culture.

3-0 out of 5 stars from missprint.wordpress.com
The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects is a crazy little book (159 pages, mostly with images) that has been spouting some crazy ideas since its original publication in 1967. The book was written by Marshall McLuhan and desgined by Quentin Fiore. It is also the only book I have ever found with its own producer, one Jerome Angel.

This book is also what I imagine a book would look like were it on drugs.

In other words, I found this book to be complete chaos. In images, photos, text, and aphorisms, McLuhan tries to analyze, and perhaps even define, what life will be like as more and more technologies enter society's everyday lives. Will the global village shrink? Will distances matter at all? Will everything we thought we knew about technology be rendered moot? Maybe. McLuhan deals with all of those topics and more.

The problem with the book is that these topics are dealt with in a very scattered manner. While some points were interesting, most were confusing. And while the design of the book is sort of revolutionary, even after forty some odd years, it is also chaotic. I also can't help but wonder if those forty years between today and the original publication have made some of the points McLuhan et al hoped to make dated in the interim.

Qualms aside, the book does make one good point that even I was able to understand amidst the chaos and confusion I felt throughout The Medium is the Massage:

there is absolutely no inevitability as long as there is a willingness to contemplate what is happening

No matter what truth (or lack thereof) can now be found in this book, the above statement holds true. It is also a crucial element to any media discussion which is why, even though this book is crazy in so many different ways, people are still looking to it for answers about how technology is impacting all of our lives. So, while I didn't really "get" everything this book had to say I am able to appreciate why others find it so crucial to discussions of technology thanks to that quote. Amidst the chaos, some nuggets of truth do shine through.

5-0 out of 5 stars Revolutionary ... even now, 40 years later

One of the great piece of feedback I got from my boss (and independently from our COO) was that while I am close enough to technology and design I am not really in the advertising and marketing business. Two weeks ago at the Forrester Consumer Forum I cornered a traveling bard of the advertising industry: Shane. Just Shane. I managed to pick over his almost photographic memory for books that would help ground me in the business. The first book I read on my quest to get closer to the advertising business was "The medium is the massage" by Marshall McLuhan. O ... M ... G This book was written in 1967 and sounds like it was written this year. McLuhan's vision for the future and linkage to the change from a mechanistic society to an information society is still directly relevant. As we move from an information society into a conceptual society, his message still resonates. Why have I not heard of this book before? Why did I not read this in university? Why has this been hidden from me, despite my design reading and exploration of the fields of visualization, visual thinking, creativity, and problem solving? Oh yeah, because none of those things are in advertising. Some of my favorite quotes (several incredibly apropos of this particular time and space):

Politics will eventually be replaced by imagery. The politician will be only too happy to abdicate in favor of his image, because the image will be much more powerful than he could ever be.

The core message from the book can be boiled down into the following:

The past went that-a-way. When faced with a totally new situation, we tend always to attach ourselves to the objects, to the flavor of the most recent past. We look at the present through a rear view mirror. We march backwards into the future.

And of course:

The medium is the message. This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium / that is, of any extension of ourselves / result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.

Get this book. Read this book. Re-read this book imagining yourself (or like me your parents) in 1967. Think about it. (re-posted from http://dckiwi.wordpress.com/2008/11/16/the-medium-is-the-message/) ... Read more

2. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man : Critical Edition
by Marshall McLuhan
Hardcover: 500 Pages (2003-11-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$15.91
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Asin: 1584230738
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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When first published, Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media made history with its radical view of the effects of electronic communications upon man and life in the
twentieth century. This edition of McLuhan's best-known book both enhances its accessibility to a general audience and provides the full critical apparatus necessary for scholars. In Terrence Gordon's own words, "McLuhan is in full flight already in the introduction, challenging us to plunge with him into what he calls 'the creative process of knowing.'" Much to the chagrin of his contemporary critics McLuhan's preference was for a prose style that explored rather than explained. Probes, or aphorisms, were an indispensable tool with which he sought to prompt and prod the reader into an "understanding of how media operates" and to provoke reflection.
In the 1960s McLuhan s theories aroused both wrath and admiration. It is intriguing to speculate what he might have to say 40 years later on subjects to which he devoted whole chapters such as Television, The Telephone, Weapons, Housing and Money. Today few would dispute that mass media have indeed decentralized modern living and turned the world into a global village.
This critical edition features an appendix that makes available for the first time the core of the research project that spawned the book and individual chapter notes are supported by a glossary of terms, indices of subjects, names, and works cited. There is also a complete bibliography of McLuhan's published works.
W. Terrence Gordon is Associate General Editor of the Gingko Press McLuhan publishing program, author of the biography Marshall McLuhan: Escape into Understanding and McLuhan for Beginners. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Cool book (in the McLuhanian sense)
This is a beautiful edition.And the critical commentary by Terrence Gordon provides a helpful structure for getting your mind around McLuhan's ideas.

Although this may be McLuhan's great work, it is not best place to start.It is long and often incoherent.On page 39, McLuhan introduces a notoriously difficult metaphor that he uses through the book.It concerns hot and cool media."Hot media are ... low in participation, and cool media are high in participation or completion by the audience."So, he explains, hieroglyphics and photographs are hot, but the phonetic alphabet and cartoons are cool.Radio and movies are hot, but the TV and the telephone are cool.

Does that make any sense?If not, the better place to start is his earlier work, The Gutenberg Galaxy.It is shorter, and the logic is much easier to follow.It lays out the basis of McLuhan's thinking about how changes in media reshape culture.If you are a systematic thinker like me, it is a far better book to get the basics of McLuhan's analytical method and ideas.

Even if you have the basics, UM is a dense, inspiring, and unsettling work.In each of the 33 chapters, McLuhan makes connections that change the way I think about culture.But just as often, he makes some nonsensical analogy or leap of logic and then fails to explain it.

In the end, it helps to stop trying to understand UM and let it inspire you to think.

In other words, it is very cool.

5-0 out of 5 stars You May Finally Discard Your 1967 Paperback Version
At 16 (1977) I discovered the original paperback Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man and it changed my world and the way I perceive every aspect of modern culture and technology forever.Throughout college, graduate school and a life of writing I have consistently supported my arguments and theories with ideas and quotes found within these pages.Fortunately I have not been alone, as entire branches of scientific inquiry, schools of academic thought, business models and technological breakthroughs can credit his lucid, vivid and coherent frameworks for their existence.

As an educator I endeavor to impart McLuhan's insights so that students might begin to see how profoundly every new technology changes their world.

This beautiful hardcover now sits at my side and includes historic details of McLuhan, the manuscript and its reception as well as valuable critical insights of W. Terence Gordon, an expert uniquely qualified to organize this edition.

5-0 out of 5 stars A tremendously original and thought- provoking work
This is one of the rare works which seem to explain new realities in a way which no one else before has grasped. It is the kind of work that gives a ' whole new picture of what is happening'. And if for this alone this work would be of great value.
I am by no means a media expert and cannot really comment on many of the claims of the work .
Its virtues are in calling attention to the new media( mainly television) and understanding how it changed our perception of the world, and of ourselves.
The basic MacLuhan distinction between hot and cold media between those which give us a lot of information and those which require our own greater participation in creating the reality , seems to me sensible to a degree. But where MacLuhan lost me was in his celebration of the present reality, the new culture.
I for one have the old- fashioned sense of the superiority of the reading world to the television world- the superiority of the kind of minds it produces.
I too think MacLuhan was over- optimistic in seeing the ' global village' as a kind of positive development for mankind. The fact is our world today is tremendously complex politically, fragmented in not necessarily wonderful ways.
It is possible to argue that this work ' foresaw ' the Internet, but even if this were the case it seems to me that we still have to consider the overall question of the meaning, value and virtue of the Internet.
Mankind's situation I want to suggest is much much more complex than ' the media is the message' in the ' global village' suggests.
I do not again think I have even begun to do justice to the richness and variety of MacLuhan's insights.
I just here would like to register the view that I do not believe that he really has given us ' the key' to understanding our world. I would even go farther and say however rich the understanding he provides about the media, and their relation to each other- he too is far from the last word in this. The questions now raised by the Internet world I think are in many ways outside those he considered.
Like all important thinkers he too is limited by the Time which has come after, bringing developments and problems he could not be expected to foresee. ... Read more

3. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man
by Marshall McLuhan, Lewis H. Lapham
Paperback: 392 Pages (1994-10-20)
list price: US$25.95 -- used & new: US$13.95
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Asin: 0262631598
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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with a new introduction by Lewis H. Lapham This reissue of UnderstandingMedia marks the thirtieth anniversary (1964-1994) of Marshall McLuhan'sclassic expose on the state of the then emerging phenomenon of massmedia. Terms and phrases such as "the global village" and "the medium isthe message" are now part of the lexicon, and McLuhan's theoriescontinue to challenge our sensibilities and our assumptions about howand what we communicate. There has been a notable resurgence of interestin McLuhan's work in the last few years, fueled by the recent andcontinuing conjunctions between the cable companies and the regionalphone companies, the appearance of magazines such as WiRed, and thedevelopment of new media models and information ecologies, many of whichwere spawned from MIT's Media Lab. In effect, media now begs to beredefined. In a new introduction to this edition of Understanding Media,Harper's editor Lewis Lapham reevaluates McLuhan's work in the light ofthe technological as well as the political and social changes that haveoccurred in the last part of this century. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended, But
I have read this book at least ten times.I learn something new each time.

If you are trying to understand "what society has become" or "what society is becoming", you must read this book.McLuhan was quite the visionary.He predicted it all.

Do not be discouraged if you find it a difficult read.It IS challenging.My advice would be to skip ahead a few chapters if you find yourself bogged down.As you move forward, something will eventually click.There is so much in each paragraph.It's not easy.But don't give up.

It is best read in a completely white room under a completely white light with no furniture or other man-made objects.You'll understand why once you get there.

5-0 out of 5 stars timeless work, more applicable to today than ever...
This is a highly seminal work written in a proverbial and poetic style: proverbial in that the theses generally apply to most medium consumers (though certainly at different levels) and poetic in that McLuhan writes using metaphorical language and analogies to convey his meaning. McLuhan uses an ostensibly esoteric communication style compared with the modern ideal of the demand for precise, plain writing. This rhetorical style is certainly intentional to exploit the communicative power of metaphor, to make his message stand in sharp relief amidst all other competing voices, and to demand pondering. It is at this point where people respond to his work/medium in a religious manner: either they embrace it after realizing the import of his theses or they dogmatically denounce it with vitriolic criticism of his inability to communicate.

In this day and age of the computer and all the protean manifestations of the internet medium, portable media devices, television, and the accelerated speed at which all this information is able to be produced and streamed to the consumer, his work needs more attention and consideration from a nurture and ethical standpoint (e.g., compare the large-scale humanitarian efforts by major organizations to modernize third-world countries with computers and the internet with the simple putative assumption that such necessarily improves social and educational elements of society). Our internal cognitive processes are becoming ever more hard-wired to and contingent upon external medium (i.e., "extension of the nervous system") to the extent that the duration and extent of cognitive "numbing" and "amputation" that takes place is intensified. The computer medium is perhaps the most heightened manifestation of cognitive substitution in that it is not limited to a single communicative message but is able to assume varied and evolving cognitive roles. For example, computers can assume the roles of all traditional medium and more such as its high valence with living global beings in near real-time. As contemporary humanity becomes more interactive with electronic medium - computers especially - the medium will have a "totalitarian" effect on the consumers.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Insightful Gaze at the Involution of the World
Today the words of Understanding Media seem in many ways to be merely the utterances of facts which are readily available to our understanding when looking at the continuous flattening of the world around us.However, at the time of McLuhan's writing, the age of the isolated Western intellect was finally influencing itself back to a more tribal reality of unity by means of its own technological achievements.McLuhan's media analysis is perhaps something which should be approached with the realization that he was writing at this truly stupendous speed up of the technological age which slowly had crept from human literacy all the way to the general literacy of the Gutenberg press to the eventual changes which were concomitant with electricity. Because of his temporal placement, he perhaps places a great deal more of what seems to be a positive moral spin on the developments of media as the Western world moves from the isolated world of the individualistic form of the book to the more tribal, immediate world of electricity.

Nevertheless, his message is a salient reminder of the fact that we are still on the verge of something which is wholly new and yet wholly old in the understanding of humanity.It has often been our tendency in the West to work segmented specialists with tendencies toward dualities, dichotomies, and segmentation as opposed to the more holistic view which is more noticeable in the smaller-scale tribal world of our ancestry.However, as McLuhan astutely observes, it is of great importance that we pay attention to the media of our day, not just in the traditional sense, but in the broader sense of how we represent the extensions of our humanity in all forms, from the most simple of media, light, to those far more complex forms of transportation and those forms of communication more commonly referred to as media in contemporary colloquial settings.

His assertion that "the media is the message" can seem to overplay the importance of the means of humanity's self-extension in contrast to the content of that extension. However, his insight of various forms of media, with their tendencies toward individualization versus tribalization as well as propensities for or against participation, should give us all pause as we look at the new forms of media which are developing in our own day.Humanity is further extending itself by means of globalization which is quickly allow for a greater extend of tribalization and communicative unity in the world.In many ways, the issues of globalization and the increased individual participation which is concomitant with it must give the Western mind no little pause as we venture into a world which is in many ways foreign to our individualized character.

However, the hope is in a revitalization of all that is good in the West through McLuhan's concept of the hybridization of media which proffers the possibility of new forms unforeseen when seemingly disparate media combine.While McLuhan's work appears to be something of a panegyric for the sun-setting of individualism in the Western way of thought, his work is highly instructive in the forces which face us in a day when a great involution of humanity is quite possible if we have the moral rectitude to see it through to a good end.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the top ten thinkers of all time
Instead of writing a lengthy appraisal of McLuhan's UNDERSTANDING MEDIA and try to summarize his importance as a thinker and philosopher, I think I'll just quote Tom Wolfe:

"Suppose he is what he sounds like, the most important thinker since Newton, Darwin, Freud, Einstein, and Pavlov?"

4-0 out of 5 stars Indispensable and Infuriating -- In Short, What a Book Should Be
McLuhan was, is, and (I suspect) will be required reading for anyone interested in media, as a participant or observer.His prose is turgid, repetitive, and challenging.Some of his concepts change to fit the way he wants to use them to argue a given point.He was daring; he tried to stare into the future, and he got it wrong at least as often as he got it right.But, when he DID get it right, it is astonishing to think that he was writing over forty years ago as he absolutely nails a trend in media in 2007.So, for that reason, I think that the words visionary, prophet and seer - so frequently thrown around - actually do apply to McLuhan.Once you've read a bit of him, it's also fun to watch how often McLuhan's ideas are erroneously cited or used elsewhere, as in that great scene in Annie Hall where, as I remember it, Woody and Annie are standing in line waiting to buy movie tickets and someone is spouting off about McLuhan.Finally, Woody can't stand it any longer so he drags McLuhan in person back down the line to have him tell the spouter - paraphrasing here - "It's clear to me that you know nothing about my ideas."

McLuhan rewards, confounds, and infuriates the reader.He's worth the trouble. ... Read more

4. War and Peace In the Global Village
by Marshall McLuhan, Quentin Fiore
Paperback: 192 Pages (2001-06)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$8.42
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Asin: 1584230746
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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War and Peace in The Global Village is a collage of images and text that sharply illustrates the effects of electronic media and new technology on man.

Marshall McLuhan wrote this book thirty years ago and following its publication predicted that the forthcoming information age would be "a transitional era of profound pain and tragic identity quest". Marshall McLuhan illustrates the fact that all social changes are caused by introduction of new technologies. He interprets these new technologies as extensions or "self-amputations of our own being", because technologies extend bodily reach. McLuhan's ideas and observations seem disturbingly accurate and clearly applicable to the world in which we live.

War and Peace in the Global Village is a meditation on accelerating innovations leading to identity loss and war. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars DEEP SEA VERBOSITY

This classic, WAR & PEACE, attempts to awaken the reader to the realities of media that lie hidden in his own mind.These realities are composed of the everything in the current "electric world," of signs, of real words and nonsense sounds, of pictures, of stuff, of technologies, of clothes, of weapons, of food, and of chemicals, all of which McLuhan calls media and the extensions of man.Can the reader who knows nothing ofthe pre-electric world be awakened to perceive it?A difficult question since there are all kinds of readers from the primitive to the scientist to the computer programmer.

Indeed, McLuhan and Fiore take the reader on a impossible journey into the guts and gear works of the human brain.Did the Authors bridge any gaps or just create new, unknown ones?Everything about this book is difficult. This includes the often obscure passages on every other page from Joyce's FINNEGANS WAKE.

The Authors advance the notion that all behavior, war and violence, stems from man's search for his identity."So that today war, as it were, has become the little Red Schoolhouse of the global village."(P. 125)War has become the educator and education becomes war."No one has studied what degree of innovation is required to shatter the self image of a man or a society."And how can man understand himself when he is always engaged in "rearview mirrorism?"Man looks backward because he can't see forward.

In addition, all the media surrounding man is merely raw material for man's info processor, his brain.Thus man is hooked on his current media like a drug addict is hooked on that which alters his sensual input.Man, himself, is but a collection of information.Immersed in this sea of info, like a fish in water, how can man sort out those bits that beg for priority?By understanding the info that composes himself, can man escape his own senses, those that compose and shape his every move?One doubts it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Is Your Brain OK or KO?
Media theorist Marshall McLuhan does a double take on the Massage by doubling his informative view of the media world splicing effect after effect after effect. Beginning locally in the village of small tribal cultures of oratory dominance demonstrating the break of the sensorium which created a tactile society. Moving through history as if fragmented in its own way recapitulating the effects of media which broke up the senses and amputated the limbs of our physical and psychical systems. Although written in 1968, McLuhan moves right into the present times understanding first, electricity as extension of the nervous system and lucidly stating that LSD, the psychedelics of the past are equal in effects to the modern day computer as a recomposure of our being. From our computer realities, one can easily define theirs as an integrated inter-net, linking one another through digital media that is light speed. McLuhan understood the implications of Einsteinian-ENIAC models of the world and distupted the passive television view with this commercial interuption to wake up the senses. Reccomended for McLuhan lovers and those who are still watching TV on a regular basis.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sheer Brilliance!
Once again, McLuhan and Fiore team up to provide us with an excellent summation of all of the drastic effects of the transition to electric circutry as the prime form of media.I recommend reading The Medium is theMassage first.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lousy title, great book.
If McLuhan hadn't been dead for almost twenty years, he could have written this book yesterday.He speaks to this moment in time."We are all robots when uncritically involved with our technologies."He makes the point that we have met the enemy and they is us.He asserts that man has evolved beyond Darwin's limited concept of biological evolution, and we have evolved ourselves with our technology.The computer being an extension of our nervous system, which now senses the whole world.The pain of modern existence is to be found in the strain of this evolution, and therefor, to be for-warned is to be for-armed."Unlike the animals, man has no nature but his own history.Electronically, this total history is now potentially present in a kind of simultaneous transparency that carries us into a world of what Joyce calls 'heliotropic noughttime.' We have been rapt in 'the artifice of eternity' by placing our nervous system around the entire globe."Tired of wondering why you think life sucks? There is some healing balm hear to be found. ... Read more

5. Digital McLuhan: A Guide to the Information Millennium
by Paul Levinson
Paperback: 240 Pages (2001-04-26)
list price: US$33.95 -- used & new: US$23.27
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Asin: 0415249910
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Marshall McLuhan died on the last day of 1980, on the doorstep of the personal computer revolution. Yet McLuhan's ideas anticipated a world of media in motion, and its impact on our lives on the dawn of the new millennium. Paul Levinson examines why McLuhan's theories about media are more important to us today than when they were first written, and why the Wired generation is now turning to McLuhan's work to understand the global village in the digital age. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars For any who would apply McLuhan's perspective to modern time
The author worked with McLuhan at the end of the 1970s and here explains the public's fascination with and perceptions of McLuhan and his theories. Chapters provide modern links between these theories and the experiences of the computer world in modern times, developed after he died in 1980. Essential for any who would apply McLuhan's perspective to modern times.

1-0 out of 5 stars The partiality of discipleship
This is a terribly disappointing book. After reading and hating MacLuhan's"Understanding Media", I was hoping his disciple would straighten at least some of the intellectual abuses committed by hismaster. Not so in the least. The disciple, still overwhelmed by thefriendship granted him when he was a young graduate student, by the greatguru, seems incapable of objective thinking. Is this a case of puppy love?But, more concretely, I would like to know what is NOT a medium in thisbizarre quasi-religion of the digital. Even windows fall under thiscategory(Cf. p. 179: "We invented windows...as an improvement upon thepoor choice of walls with no vision or walls with holes and nowarmth..."). It is this pseudo-analysis that plagues this book, aswell as the books of the great white chief. And, if you happen to rejectall these facile generalizations, then you are a fool, or you haven'tunderstood the "profundities" in question. In the same way,Marxists accuse their critics of suffering from false consciousness due totheir class origin, and Freudian affirm that the rejection is caused byrepressed emotions. One has to be a Marxist to understand Marx, and apsychoanalyst to understand Freud. In the same way, only people who areconvinced of the truth in MacLuhan's all-explaining ideas to be able totruly understand the genius. And when the author of the present booksaffirms that "Tom Wolfe...'aptly' compared (MacLuhan) to Darwin,Einstein and Freud", the expression that comes to mind is "Cultof Personality". Why argue with true believers?

1-0 out of 5 stars messias of a generation
inherent to the impact of mcluhan's metaphors, which explore more so than explain, a generation of academics found it necessary to use them as a vehicle for their own opinions. levinson practices the same. in an attemptto validate his own theories he continuously disgresses with anecdotesabout how great mcluhan was in all his aspects. with this i do notcriticize mcluhan's theories but aim my arrows at the banality oflevinson's book. in the midst of what could possibly considered academicdiscourse he bothers with: "marshall and eric had been at our home fordinner 1978 - tina afterwards named that pot roast recipe the "mcluhanpot roast" - and tina and i had wonderful dinners with corinne andmarshall at their home in wychwood park several times. we always keenlyregretted - and still do - that marshall did not live to meet our children.(pg 137) it is exactly this kind of utter nonsense that annoyed me most. iunderstand that scientific output has to be validated to a certain extentby building upon the theories of others, but i don't think thismcluhan-mania is relevant. since levinson has no scrupules about thistechnique the book is distracting throughout. it is his style that tries toinvite you to the cosy comfortable good old days when mcluhan was havingdinner with the author that should not have made it past its final edit. as for the rudiments of the content it provides an interesting point ofview of looking at new (digital) media. other than that it is one of theworst books i have ever read (seldom have i seen someone refer to hisprevious works as much as this fellow).knowing postman and the largerpart of the nyu media ecology department i am afraid that this book mightbe indicative of academic in-breed. everyone is so busy liking everybodyelse that there seems no room for genuine criticism. levinson tries tofalsify some of mcluhan's critics by saying that they "didn'tunderstand". this is testimony to a state of mind that, apart frombeing arrogant, will not provide you with more nore refreshing insights, asmuch as it provides more of the same. and here i sit thinking that academicdiscourse was suppposed to be dynamic and not static. silly me, it seems.

4-0 out of 5 stars Presents McLuhan�s ideas about media
Marshall McLuhan was a media theorist whose path-breaking insights about the impact of media are regarded as seminal.

Digital McLuhan is actually two intertwining books: one presents McLuhan's ideas about media and theirimpact upon our lives, the other presents the author's ideas about howMcLuhan's ideas can help us make sense of our new digital age. It presentsa lucid assessment and readable explication of McLuhan's method and 13 ofhis major insights and what they can tell us about the new world we arewell on the way to creating. It highlights and explains the truly propheticnature of McLuhan's theories on media. At the time they were firstpropounded, everyone thought McLuhan was talking about television, but whathe was really talking about was the Internet-two decades before itappeared.

Paul Levinson explains the relevance of McLuhan's work for anunderstanding of new media. This guide to the information millennium is adeliberate wake-up call to those unaware of the profound power of theInternet to reshape our lives and society.

Paul Levinson is President andfounder of Connected Education, offering postgraduates courses on theInternet for more than a decade. He is author of The Soft Edge, Mind atLarge, Electronic Chronicles and Learning Cyberspace. He is visitingProfessor of Communications at Fordham University in New York City. Heobtained a PhD in Media Biology from New York University in1979.

Reviewed by Azlan Adnan. Formerly Business Development Manager withKPMG, Azlan is currently Managing Partner of Azlan & Koh Knowledge andProfessional Management Group, an education and management consultingpractice based in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysian Borneo. He holds a Master'sdegree in International Business and Management from the University ofWestminster in London.

2-0 out of 5 stars Read Mcluhan's Work in Its Originality First
Most people would agree that Marshall Mcluhan is the truly innovative, visionary character in media research.After Mcluhan, although there have been people trying to establish a different kind of theory or methodologyregarding media research which is intended to be independent of Mcluhan'sinfluence, their efforts seem to be fruitless.Most of their work becomesexpansionary(and sometimes redundant) explanations of Mcluhan.We candiscern from such a phenomenon that Mcluhan is indeed the master of modernmedia theory, and hence his work and ideas are requirements for those whoare interested in this particular subject (as well as other sociologicalstudies).

Therefore, I would recommend people to read Mcluhan's work inits originality first, try to develop their own way of critical thinkingabout media, and then apply the methodological approach to the study of thenew medium, the Internet.I think Paul Levinson did the same thing in thisbook.

The writer did a lengthy analytical examination of the influenceand potential of the new media whose development is instigated by recentenhancement of Internet related technologies.On the one hand, by adoptingMcluhan's media theory (tetrad, discarnate man, acoustic space,decentralization, global village¡K, etc.), the writer is able to come tothe conclusion that the Internet will eventually become "the medium ofmedia."On the other hand, the writer falls short of drawing evidencefrom other sides of the story such as technological, commercial, social,and governmental influences on future development of what he terms"the medium of media."Therefore, although the writer's optimismconcluding that most people will benefit from the forthcoming growth of theInternet industry is encouraging enough, one may judge it to be a littletoo simplistic and naive. ... Read more

6. Marshall McLuhan: The Medium and the Messenger
by Philip Marchand
Paperback: 322 Pages (1998-05-01)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$6.97
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with a new foreword by Neil Postman

"The best--I might say the only good--précis of McLuhan's thoughtI have ever read." -- Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Beautifully written. . . . brings instant recognition of that weird,exhilarating vortex of ideas that McLuhan meant to us. . ." -- Globeand Mail

When communications thinker Marshall McLuhan gave us the phrases "themedium 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 beignored by any student of culture and technology. Interest in McLuhanhas increased dramatically since this biography was first published in1989 to stunning reviews. The author has extensively revised this newedition to include additional information provided by McLuhan's familyand friends, and to present an even clearer and more absorbing personalpicture of McLuhan. The book explains the relevance to today's societyof a man who reached the height of his fame in the 1960s. The forewordby Neil Postman is original to this edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great read.
A great introduction to a mostly neglected field of thought that may be more deserving of our imaginations.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must-read while studying McLuhan
Marchand and Postman do an excellent job with this biography on an unusual media prophet/quack.Reading about McLuhan's childhood, education, and work helped explain a lot about the man and his ideas. The book reads verywell, and puts a lot of his ideas in a context that makes them easier tounderstand. If you're just starting to study McLuhan, this book is a greatstarting point.Also check out "McLuhan for Beginners" for avery quick and fun overview. ... Read more

7. The Global Village: Transformations in World Life and Media in the 21st Century (Communication and Society)
by Marshall McLuhan, Bruce R. Powers
Paperback: 240 Pages (1992-09-17)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$18.83
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Asin: 0195079108
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Extending the visionary early work of the late Marshall McLuhan, The Global Village, one ofhis last collaborative efforts, applies that vision to today's worldwide, integrated electronic network.

When McLuhan's groundbreaking Understanding Media was published in 1964, the media as we know it today did not exist.But McLuhan's argument, that the technological extensions of human consciousness were racing ahead of our ability to understand their consequences, has never been more compelling.And if the medium is the message, as McLuhan maintained, then the message is becoming almost impossible to decipher.

In The Global Village, McLuhan and co-author Bruce R. Powers propose a detailed conceptual framework in terms of which the technological advances of the past two decades may be understood.At the heart of their theory is the argument that today's users of technology are caught between two very different ways of perceiving the world.On the one hand there is what they refer to as Visual Space--the linear, quantitative mode of perception that is characteristic of the Western world; on the other hand there is Acoustic Space--the holistic, qualitative reasoning of the East. The medium of print, the authors argue, fosters and preserves the perception of Visual Space; but, like television, the technologies of the data base, the communications satellite, and the global media network are pushing their users towards the more dynamic, "many-centered" orientation of Acoustic Space.

The authors warn, however, that this movement towards Acoustic Space may not go smoothly. Indeed, McLuhan and Powers argue that with the advent of the global village--the result of worldwide communications--these two worldviews "are slamming into each other at the speed of light," asserting that "the key to peace is to understand both these systems simultaneously."

Employing McLuhan's concept of the Tetrad--a device for predicting the changes wrought by new technologies--the authors analyze this collision of viewpoints.Taking no sides, they seek to do today what McLuhan did so successfully twenty-five years ago--to look around the corner of the coming world, and to help us all be prepared for what we will find there. ... Read more

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5-0 out of 5 stars A Laudable Extension of McLuhan:Cool, Seminal & Involving!
Powers says that this book is not about "final answers."By God he's right!And he proceeds to effloresce a wondrous garden wrought of the print medium brimming over with fresh probes, "osmic space," brains "astonied," the secret lives of "sense ratios," and other electrific, outsized insights and invitations into the futurepresent.One could readily argue and effectively so that "The Global Village..." is indeed a worthy extension of the medium of Professor McLuhan himself, ringing true and resonating orchestrally with the spirit and vivacity of that bright, iridescent, warm and radiant bulb which, tragically, went out suddenly and left us in darkness on New Year's Eve, 1980.

Feed forward 9 years.Powers'/McLuhan's "tetrad" is a mesmerizingly rich metaphor lending clarity and intensity to McLuhan's seminal 1964 probicon, "Understanding Media--The Extensions of Man."This "new" 1989 book is a MUST-read, a reverent continuance of McLuhan's oeuvre, a virtual channeling of his spirit, and in various ways easier to grasp perhaps, more accessible even, than the monumentally revolutionary/visionary UMTEOM.

The beauty of McLuhan and by protraction Dr. Bruce Powers here is that these men are not pedants but facilitators.Their goal, much like that of Carl Rogers or George B. Leonard or Joseph Campbell, is not to pound stuff into brainpans, but to gently yet insistently open up minds to possibilities, perils, challenges, potentialities and joys imperative in the present reality/"reelity?" or whatever one wishes to term the agardish within which each of us swims, breathes, eats, creates, dances, defecates, procreates and seethes.

If McLuhan is the sorcerer, Bruce Powers is his worthy apprentice, now successor.In fact he veritably invites all of us to be successors (McLuhanatics?), to become involved (the essential definition of "cool").This book is exciting, invigorating, pulsating, intensely involving and above all, highly rewarding.We need more extensions of McLuhan like this one.This is a superb nonbook, a hybrid medium, and a seamless read.TGV will get your probing juices flowing.It's as revitalizing as pure MDMA (as far as "the mdma is the message" goes).Buy this deceptively modest paperback, and step into it like a hot bath.

1-0 out of 5 stars a shameful posthumous misrepresentation of McL.'s thought.
I'm surprised this travesty is still in print."Not in McLuhan's style" is a kind understatement; Powers demonstrates flagrant misunderstanding and confusion of basic McLuhanesque ideas.Try 'Laws ofMedia' or 'Understanding Electric Language' instead.

3-0 out of 5 stars FIGURING OUT THE GROUND
This book is for the McLuhan enthusiast who would like to figure out theground on which McLuhan stands. It is chock full of McLuhan's ideas, butnot presented in McLuhan's typical style. Published 9 years after McLuhan'sdeath, it seems likely that co-author Bruce Powers assembled the materialfor publication.

If you are not already very familiar with McLuhan'sthoughts and earlier writings, this book is not for you. If you are alreadyvery familiar with McLuhan's words, you won't find anything new, but youwill find some of McLuhan's basic ideas amplified and extrapolated.

Essentially an essential book for the McLuhanite. ... Read more

8. The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man
by Marshall McLuhan
Paperback: 294 Pages (1962-03-01)
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Asin: 0802060412
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Since its first appearance in 1962, the impact of The Gutenberg Galaxy has been felt around the world.It gave us the concept of the global village; that phrase has now been translated, along with the rest of the book, into twelve languages, from Japanese to Serbo-Croat.It helped establish Marshall McLuhan as the original 'media guru.'More than 200,000 copies are in print.The reissue of this landmark book reflects the continuing importance of McLuhan's work for contemporary readers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Prophetic Masterpiece on How Print Transformed the World
Marshall McLuhan was nothing less than a 20th Century prophet!So much of what he articulated in his various works has come to fruition in the Information Age.The reader who truly understands "The Gutenberg Galaxy" will come away with a much deeper understanding of our world and how the media we employ affect profound transformations in culture.I consider it essential reading for the educated reader.

"The Gutenberg Galaxy" has had more of an impact on me than any of his other works and more than just a handful of other works of any genre - period.Essentially, McLuhan describes the enormous effects the advent of the printing press had on the Western world as it was transformed from an oral, manuscript culture to a visual, print-based culture.Personally, I would have preferred a different medium of presentation because it's easy to get lost in what McLuhan says.In this particular work he employs what he calls a "mosaic" approach to his topic, employing an enormous amount of data and quotations that stand alone and are stitched together a little by McLuhan, but chiefly by the reader as the reader is forced to discover what McLuhan is getting at.Also, the chapters are episodic and nonlinear and must be read in a different way than we're used to reading.It is a challenging work because of this but worth every moment invested in it.While this was a relatively revolutionary way to write non-fiction back in 1962, it resembles the way that people who use the Internet and social media actually think and learn.In this way, it appeals to the postmodern mind.

The book should be read together with Understanding Media, in which McLuhan develops his theory of media more systematically.

I want to conclude my review by cherry-picking some of the most profound and provocative quotations from the work, which illustrate some of the radical ways that the printing press has revolutionized the world we live in.Serious scholars of just about any discipline (my fields are Christian education, theology, and pastoral ministry).Here are the quotations, with page numbers from the edition I own.Read them and then be mesmerized and amazed at both McLuhan's wisdom and the way in which the world has changed.And then apply this wisdom to the way you think about your life and the world around you!

153 - "The invention of typography confirmed and extended the new visual stress of applied knowledge, providing the first uniformly repeatable commodity, the first assembly-line, and the first mass production."

160 - "Scribal culture could have neither authors nor publics such as were created by typography."

198 - Print "created the price system.For until commodities are uniform and repeatable the price of an article is subject [199] to haggle and adjustment.The uniformity and repeatability of the book not only created modern markets and the price system inseparable from literacy and industry."

201 -"There is no known means of having our price and distribution system without a long and extensive experience of literacy."

201 - "The passion for exact measurement began to dominate the Renaissance."

202 - "The pursuit of dichotomies and divisions carried over from scholasticism tomathematics and science."
"The rise of statistics permitted the isolation of economics from the general social fabric of the sixteenth century."

205 - "The print-made split between head and heart is the trauma which affects Europe from Machiavelli till the present."

218 - "The great sixteenth century divorce between art and science came with accelerated calculators."

230 - "How far did the mass-produced page of print become a substitute for auricular confession?"

248 - "The portability of the book, like that of the easel-painting, added much to the new cult of individualism."

255 - "The typographic logic created the outsider, the alienated man, as the type of integral, that is, intuitive and irrational man."

261 - "The historians, although aware that nationalism originated in the sixteenth century, have yet no explanation of this passion that preceded theory."
"There cannot be nationalism where there has not first been an experience of the vernacular in printed form."

274 - "Typography extended its character to the regulation and fixation of languages."

282 - "Print created national uniformity and government centralism, but also individualism and opposition to government as such."

5-0 out of 5 stars For A Better Understanding of a Paradigm Shift
A useful guide to a better experience of the electronic age by understanding the effect of the printing press on us and our society. Here are several quotes which should inspire you to read this book and to better appreciate the WorldWide Web as it gives us back our voices.

"As the Gutenberg typography filled the world the human voice closed down. People began to read silently and passively as consumers"

"In an age of fragmented, lineal awareness, such as produced and was in turn greatly exaggerated by Gutenberg technology, mythological vision remains quite opaque. The Romantic poets fell far short of Blake's mythical or simultaneous vision. They were faithful to Newton's single vision and perfected the picturesque outer landscape as a means of isolating singles states of inner life."

5-0 out of 5 stars McLuhan's Most Difficult Book
The Gutenberg Galaxy, McLuhan's second book, is one of his best, but the reader should be forewarned that it is also one of his most difficult to read and does not make a good introduction for the beginner. One of the reasons for this difficulty is that it is written in mosaic style, in which McLuhan -- like Walter Benjamin's Arcades Project -- creates a text that is largely composed of quotations from mostly obscure authors stitched together with his own commentaries in between. These quotations are from works written in classical academic style, and none of them are easy reading. They require concentrationand the book itself takes time to read carefully.

The book is a cultural archaeology of the effects of the rise of print upon Western society in the period between 1450 - 1850. It is concerned with analyzing the new kinds of social and cultural structures which typography brought into being, such as nationalism, the concept of individuality, the idea of authorship and intellectual private property, new genres such as the literary essay and the novel. The rise of the printing press, McLuhan points out, was coincident with the rise of the mastery of depth perspective in Renaissance painting, and this is not an accident, for both the new Euclidean space conception and typography had in common an emphasis upon the organization of the world around the eye favored as a sense organ at the detriment and exlusion of all the other senses. During the manuscript culture of the Middle Ages, the senses were still synesthetically woven together like a tapestry, and no single one of them was favored to quite the degree of exclusion which the favoring of vision brought about in the Renaissance. Illuminated manuscripts, according to McLuhan, have a textural feel to them that still relies heavily on the sense of touch, and Medieval art, with its disproportionate sense of space in which one character -- such as Christ -- will be represented as larger than everyone else primarily due to the emphasis upon his spiritual importance rather than his inclusion as one individual among many occupying the same field of homogeneous space, is similarly haptic. Gothic lettering, he points out, is hard on the eye and difficult to read because it is tactile and still appeals to the sense of touch. Roman lettering, together with Arabic numerals, was favored by print, and this had the effect of streamlining the ability to read such that silent reading became common. Printers began to do new things like number the pages, create indices and Tables of Contents, and this had the effect of emphasizing authorship since it now became possible to track citations properly. Typography, McLuhan never tires of pointing out, favors the eye at the expense of all the other senses, and it tends to favor an abstract view of space as a container within which objects are placed in an arrangement that takes all spatial relations into account.

All of this began to change in the nineteenth century with the rise of electric technology and the favoring of discontinuities brought about by the telegraph and the newspaper. This kind of syncopated feeling for space, in which each object begins to occupy its own space no longer held in relation to other objects, began to erode and change the old typographic world of the Gutenberg Galaxy. Electric culture, which McLuhan does not discuss much in this book, favors tribalism, spatial discontinuity, erosion of individuality and the rise of corporatism, decentralization and so on.

This book should be read together with Understanding Media, for the latter volume picks up where The Gutenberg Galaxy leaves off, at the threshold of the Electric Society.

It is a masterpiece of scholarship by one of the greatest intellects America has ever produced, an intellect that easily puts the French po-mo philosophers in the shade. You will get more useful ideas out of any one of McLuhan's books than you would out of a whole crate of books by postmodern French philosophers.

--John David Ebert, author of Celluloid Heroes & Mechanical Dragons: Film as the Mythology of Electronic Society

5-0 out of 5 stars Shooting probes
This is the first McLuhan book I read, back in the late 1960s. It took me about a month to get through, because each short chapter contained so many new ideas and insights I had to think about them before going on. I didn't always understand them, but what I did comprehend was intoxicatingly exciting.

Many readers of McLuhan treat his probes as absolute statements of truth. Then, if they disagree with him, they reject his whole approach. One important fact to keep in mind while reading this or any of McLuhan's books is that he himself refers to the clever slogans which sum up many of his insights ("The medium is the message" being the best known, of course) as "probes", not facts. Their purpose is to explore an idea in order to stimulate thought. Even if you ultimately disagree with the concept set forth, if it makes you think about it, the probe has accomplished its principal purpose.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Academic Read
Definitely more of an academically written book than McLuhan's more famous "Understanding Media."For new McLuhan readers, I recommend reading "Understanding Me" or "Understanding Media" first. ... Read more

9. Understanding Me: Lectures and Interviews
by Marshall McLuhan
Paperback: 343 Pages (2005-04-01)
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In the last twenty years of his life, Marshall McLuhan published a series of books that established his reputation as a world-renowned communications theorist and the pre-eminent seer of the modern age. It was McLuhan who made the distinction between "hot" and "cool" media. And it was he who coined the phrases "the medium is the message" and "the global village" and popularized other memorable terms including "feedback" and "iconic."

McLuhan was far more than a pithy phrasemaker, however. He foresaw the development of personal computers at a time when computers were huge, unwieldy machines available only to institutions. He anticipated the wide-ranging effects of the Internet. And he understood, better than any of his contemporaries, the transformations that would be wrought by digital technology—in particular, the globalization of communications and the instantaneous-simultaneous nature of the new, electric world. In many ways, we're still catching up to him—forty years after the publication of Understanding Media.

In Understanding Me, Stephanie McLuhan and David Staines have brought together nineteen previously unpublished lectures and interviews either by or with Marshall McLuhan. They have in common the informality and accessibility of the spoken word. In every case, the text has been transcribed from the original audio, film, or videotape of McLuhan's actual appearances. This is not what McLuhan wrote but what he said—the spoken words of a surprisingly accessible public man. He comes across as outrageous, funny, perplexing, stimulating, and provocative. McLuhan will never seem quite the same again.

The foreword by Tom Wolfe provides a twenty-first century perspective on McLuhan's life and work, and co-editor David Staines's insightful afterword offers a personal account of McLuhan as teacher and friend. ... Read more

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5-0 out of 5 stars Spoken words to help the written
For anyone remotely interested in McLuhan, I recommend this book for the following reasons.
It is a much easier read than most of McLuhan's work, as it is a collection of interviews and speeches which are necessarily more concise, and were for me much more involving.
It gives an insight into McLuhan's theories which can be quite puzzling and abstruse at first.In his speeches and essays, he repeats his same themes in a variety of manners, which help to give the reader a better understanding of the theories.
It's no McLuhan for Idiots (I'm not sure if there is such a thing, based on the nature of his works), but it is definitely a very useful and enjoyable companion book. ... Read more

10. McLuhan: A Guide for the Perplexed (Guides for the Perplexed)
by W. Terrence Gordon
Paperback: 216 Pages (2010-02-25)
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"McLuhan: A Guide for the Perplexed" is a close reading of all of his work with a focus on tracing the systematic development of his thought. The overriding objective is to clarify all of McLuhan's thinking, to consolidate it in a fashion which prevents misreadings, and to open the way to advancing his own program: ensuring that the world does not sleepwalk into the twenty-first century with nineteenth-century perceptions. Marshall McLuhan was dubbed a media guru when he came to prominence in the 1960s. The Woodstock generation found him cool; their parents found him perplexing. Today he is often referred to as a media ecologist, a phrase that would have pleased him for its resonance with James Joyce's Echoland. Joyce's kaleidoscopic verbal creativity stimulated McLuhan's vision for a unified explanation of everything from Woodstock to Wall Street, from woodcuts to weapons, in terms of media and their effects.During his career, he found time to write about high literature (Chesterton, Wyndham Lewis, Pound, and Joyce) and popular culture (movies, comics, and advertising), managing even to explore the link between them in reviewing the work of his arch-rival Northrop Frye ("Inside Blake" and "Hollywood"). By 1963 McLuhan was Director of the Centre for Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto and would be a public intellectual on the international stage for more than a decade, then linked forever to his two best known coinages: the global village and the medium is the message. Both phrases express a paradox. We easily interpret the first as an image for our planet dramatically shrunken by the powerful media of instant communication. Broadband buzz and G3 gossip. For this we scarcely need McLuhan. But the medium is the message has an unsettling counter-intuitive quality that provoked critical commentaries - many of startling irrelevance to McLuhan's thrust and purpose.Legions of bewildered students and intimidated faculty may have kept silent, and McLuhan's many interviewers often merely registered irritation, but Jonathan Miller and Umberto Eco were among the luminaries who lodged vigorous protests, stumbling over McLuhan's metaphor for how media operate and how they shape and control the speed, scale, and forms of human association and action. This was the key idea at the core of his "Understanding Media". Even as "Understanding Media" was launched, McLuhan was raiding psychology, philosophy, structuralism, and taking second plunder from literary studies. By the end of his career, he had harnessed the complementarities of figure/ground, cause/effect, structure/function, and cliche/archetype to his earlier work. Their full and final expression was achieved in the posthumously published "Laws of Media". Taken as a whole, McLuhan's writings reveal a profound coherence and illuminate his unifying vision for the study of language, literature, and culture, grounded in the broad understanding of any medium or technology as an extension of the human body."Continuum's Guides for the Perplexed" are clear, concise and accessible introductions to thinkers, writers and subjects that students and readers can find especially challenging - or indeed downright bewildering. Concentrating specifically on what it is that makes the subject difficult to grasp, these books explain and explore key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards a thorough understanding of demanding material. ... Read more

11. The Essential Mcluhan
by Eric Mcluhan, Frank Zingrone
Paperback: 416 Pages (1996-07-12)
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Asin: 0465019951
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Marshall McLuhan’s insights are fresher and more applicable today than when he first announced them to a startled world. A whole new generation is turning to his work to understand a global village made real by the information superhighway and the overwhelming challenge of electronic transformation.“Before anyone could perceive the electric form of the information revolution, McLuhan was publishing brilliant explanations of the perceptual changes being experienced by the users of mass media. He seemed futuristic to some and an enemy of print and literacy to others. He was, in reality, a deeply literate man of astonishing prescience. Tom Wolfe suggested aloud that McLuhan’s work was as important culturally as that of Darwin or Freud. Agreement and scoffing ensued. Increasingly Wolfe’s wonder seems justified.”From the IntroductionHere in one volume, are McLuhan’s key ideas, drawn from his books, articles, correspondence, and published speeches. This book is the essential archive of his constantly surprising vision.
Amazon.com Review
Given the profound influence that the writings and teachingsof Marshall McLuhan have had in the Information Age, it is surprisinghow few people have read anything more than context-free excerpts printed inindecipherable day-glo fonts over a backgroundguaranteed to induce vertigo. But once youactually get around to reading McLuhan's ideas about the Global Village, thehistory of print, and the rise of digital media, you realize thatbehind the hype he did indeed make many substantive and influentialcontributions.

Surprisingly, most of McLuhan's seminal books arestill out of print (as of 1996). Luckily, this collection of articles and excerptsfrom his most important books is a comprehensive and accessibleoverview of the musings of the "Patron Saint of theDigerati". It includes substantial passages from my favorite McLuhanbookThe Gutenberg Galaxy (a brilliantly provocative academic treatiseabout the history and consequences of writing and printing), as well as many articles and interviews youwouldn't find in any of his previously published books anyway.

The main weaknesses of this volume are that it does not includeexcerpts from the hyper-kinetic and image-packed "The Medium is theMassage" -- his main contribution to pop culture of the late '60s --and that the sources of each passage are noted only in an appendix. Itwould have been nice if sources were noted at thebeginning or end of each linear text, and I hope this is addressed infuture editions. Other than these minor editorial quibbles, this bookis highly recommended. ... Read more

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5-0 out of 5 stars McLuhan 101
Measuring the impact of Marshall McLuhan on media studies is akin to measuring the impact of media on man. Modern man's entire scope of understanding is impacted by and funneled through media forms, and the field of media study is almost entirely funneled through the groundbreaking work of Marshall McLuhan. He may not be the least appreciated genius of the 20th century, but he is at least among the most niche-appreciated; for a man whose theories have practical, everyday applications for just about every human on the planet, he is rarely discussed outside the circle of communication and media students, academics, and researchers.

That's where a compilation like this one can come in very handy. For the new McLuhan reader, this generous collection offers enlightening snippets from nearly all of his major works, as well as some informative profile pieces. It's a great introduction to McLuhan specifically, and to media studies in general, and should nicely pique the interest for further study.

5-0 out of 5 stars THE Intro to McLuhan
I trust this is the one compiled by his son Eric.

Anyway, this book seems to read like McLuhan always wanted it: short, digestible bursts of prose.

The Playboy Interview is fantastic. I always generally enjoyed McLuhan in a dialog scenario more than his writings, though his writings definitely tend to have more moving moments of clarity and epiphany.

5-0 out of 5 stars Understanding McLuhan is essential to understanding media
McLuhan was not the first to open up the field of media study with the focus on the media rather than content. But he was the first to see that ALL human artifacts create their own context of effects, and McLuhan remains unsurpassed in the breadth and depth of his understanding. No field of human endeavor goes unaffected by media environments, and this generous collection is well suited to the serious inquirer, whether new to McLuhan or revisiting him with the onset of the latest manifestations of the electronic age--the web and internet ... Read more

12. Understanding New Media: Extending Marshall McLuhan
by Robert K. Logan
Paperback: 416 Pages (2010-11-01)
list price: US$42.95 -- used & new: US$42.95
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Asin: 1433111268
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Marshall McLuhan made many predictions in his seminal 1964 publication, Understanding Media: Extensions of Man. Among them were his predictions that the Internet would become a Global Village, making us more interconnected than television, the closing of the gap between consumers and producers, the elimination of space and time as barriers to communication, and the melting of national borders. He is also famously remembered for coining the expression: the medium is the message. These predictions form the genesis of this new volume by Robert Logan —a friend and colleague who worked with McLuhan. Logan argues that these predictions are more pronounced today than when McLuhan first made them in the 60s. In Understanding New Media Logan expertly serves to update Understanding Media to analyze the new media McLuhan foreshadowed and yet was never able to analyze or experience. Understanding New Media is designed to reach a new generation of readers as well as appealing to scholars and students who are familiar with Understanding Media. The volume comes with an accompanying website. Visit understandingnewmedia.org for the latest updates on this book. ... Read more

13. Marshall McLuhan: You Know Nothing of My Work!
by Douglas Coupland
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2010-11-30)
list price: US$24.00 -- used & new: US$16.20
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Asin: 1935633163
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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 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. ... Read more

14. Marshall McLuhan
by Janine Marchessault
Kindle Edition: 264 Pages (2004-11-18)
list price: US$44.95
Asin: B0037KLSYW
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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'Feted and reviled in his own lifetime, Marshall McLuhan has made a dramatic comeback in recent years. Marchessault gives a balanced and carefully considered appraisal of McLuhan’s contribution to cultural theory, which may be even more pertinent now, in the early twenty-first century, than when he originally formulated it in the 1950s and ‘60s'

Jim McGuigan, Professor of Cultural Analysis, Loughborough University

Why is McLuhan important?What use can we make of his approach to the media today? In this insightful critical introduction, McLuhan's contribution is carefully explained and his reputation reassessed. The book:

· Explains McLuhan's key ideas

· Engages with critical issues in media and contemporary art

· Demonstrates the relevance of his work for students

of media and communications

· Addresses his methodological contribution

· Revises our understanding of his place in the history of ideas.

Illustrated with many examples from the network society, the book works as a guide to anyone who wants to know why McLuhan is important. ... Read more

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5-0 out of 5 stars McLuhan for our time
Janine Marchessault's study of McLuhan's ideas really engages with the subject. Rather than a dry, academic reading of McLuhan, Marchessault really makes his work come alive, and shows us why he's such a key thinker of the 20th century. As I read this book, I found myself applying McLuhan's ideas to present day culture and media. This book helped me to realize that McLuhan gives us very important tools that we can use to help us understand our society. There are a lot of McLuhan books on the market, and one of the things that makes this my favorite is Marchessault's willingness to let us know what she thinks. One has the sense of an intellectual jouney... ... Read more

15. The Mechanical Bride - Facsimile
by Marshall McLuhan
Paperback: 160 Pages (2008-06-30)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$13.21
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Asin: 1584232439
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This is the devastating book which first established Marshall McLuhan's reputation as the foremost critic of modern mass communications.
The Mechanical Bride is vintage McLuhan so aptly illustrated by dozens of examples from ads, comic strips, columnists, etc., that those who were stung by McLuhan were hard put for rebuttals. It shows how sex was first used to sell industrial hardware, how Orphan Annie still keeps the world on track, and how an Arabian Nights wonderland of mass entertainment and suggestion makes information irrelevant, and sends us to bed at night too dazed to question whether we're happy or not.
We live in an age in which legions of highly educated professionals dedicate themselves to the task of getting inside the collective public mind with the object of manipulating, exploiting and controlling. ... Read more

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5-0 out of 5 stars This book could have been written in 2004
Although it was published in 1951, the critical analysis of advertising saturation that McLuhan presents in this book applies equally in the 21st century.Although the mechanisms of media delivery have changed, the message that they deliver has not.Although the once-contemporary references may require additional research on the part of a younger reader, the book does not suffer overtly because of them.This is an essential work for students of media and sociology. ... Read more

16. THE GUTENBERG GALAXY: The Making of Typographic Man
by Marshall Mcluhan
 Paperback: Pages (1968)

Asin: B000J03MZG
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17. Marshall McLuhan
by Douglas Coupland
Hardcover: 260 Pages (2010-01)
list price: US$26.00
Isbn: 0670069221
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18. Marshall Mcluhan-Unbound
by Terrence W. Gordon, Marshall McLuhan
Paperback: 300 Pages (2005-05)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$26.01
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Asin: 1584230517
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The essay is for exploring; the book, for explaining. Such was McLuhan's philosophy about these two forms. The essay is the freer form and one better suited to exploration than the longer meditation, the book. Traditionally, when a writer published a new piece, the publisher would send a couple of copies of the magazine plus ten or a dozen copies of just the article with the mag's cover offprints to be given to friends, students, colleagues.This startling new series puts the reader in the place of colleague and co-researcher. Instead of giving the reader just another collection of articles and interviews, McLuhan Unbound gives you offprints of the original essays. You experience the feel of the ideas when they were fresh. The offprint is more portable than the book, and so lends itself to being carried around and read and discussed more easily than books. Here the reader can experience the full range of McLuhan's interests, the full scope and application of his techniques of discovery. See how the two McLuhans, the literary academic and the public media expert are really one.

As a flint when struck produces many sparks some of which result in fire, so the essay form contains many sparks some of which resulted in books and others which ought to have, had the writer had time.

Some of these articles were written before the subsequent book was envisioned: they are preliminary forays into new territory. Some were written after the book and encapsulate major themes; some set out additional discoveries or matters left out of the book; some present material discovered as a result of writing the book. The McLuhan Unbound offprints series is not the last word in presenting McLuhan's ideas and discoveries, but the first. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars brainiac ina box
This is a delightfully rendered collection of short pieces/lectures by a thinker that few have surpassed in sheer range and raw intellect and at this price one would be foolish to not add it to your library. ... Read more

19. The Medium and the Light: Reflections on Religion
by Marshall McLuhan
Paperback: 219 Pages (2010-03)
list price: US$28.00 -- used & new: US$21.54
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Asin: 1606089927
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Light on McLuhan
"Not only am I a Catholic," McLuhan candidly reveals conversationally, but the worst kind--a convert!" Everyone who knew that tidbit of information about the guru of media probably couldn't help wondering if it made a difference, and if so, how. As this book reveals, it did--at least to McLuhan. In that context, he was not only experimenting in the realm of media, and exploring its effects, but was also in the swirl of events surrounding Vatican II. While his books chronicled the former interest and passion, culminating in the photo-montage collaborations with Quentin Fiore, The Medium is the Massage and War and Peace in the Global Village, almost nothing came to light of the latter involvement. Until now, that is. Included in this volume are four interviews and numerous letters on all things Catholic and all things media, written at a time when the former was in a time of turbulent upturn, and the latter only beginning to be explored. The most interesting essays concern the interaction of the two: the now common complaint that no one in the Church seems to have any understanding of "electric media," and that some of the modernizing efforts of Vatican II were, in fact, rendering it more, not less, out of step with the times. Priests and nuns were abandoning collars and habits, he noted, just when young people were donning costumes and dressing up.

As a convert, McLuhan in some ways held surprisingly traditional Catholic views, and in candid letters he concisely and engagingly explains why. The first essay examines his debt to G.K. Chesterton, a writer who now, fifty years later, is being rediscovered. Some of the ideas in these essays are quizzical, and you can't help pondering them, such as the idea in a piece called "Liturgy and Media," that North Americans go outside to be alone, and inside for society, but that in Europe, it's the other way around. This book is filled with those sorts of little insights that you find yourself wondering about and debating. There are a couple essays I would have left out--they either seem too far from the topic or too "top shelf" to engage casual readers. Even so, this is one of the most readable and understandable of McLuhan's books. Even decades after he wrote, his ideas jump out of the page and his insights seem crisp and fresh. His solutions too, seem fresh and original, even if untried. For all his relevance in the 'sixties, his ideas may only now be coming into their own, and there may have never been a better time to discover McLuhan.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and Insightful
This collection of McLuhan's interviews, lectures and essays relating to religion in the age of electronic communication is as essential to today's readers as they were when written.1954's 'Catholic Humanism and Modern Letters' is simply stunning.McLuhan's religious understanding of the world should not be forgotten when considering the prophetic outlook of his other works. ... Read more

20. The Medium is the Message
by Marshall McLuhan
 Mass Market Paperback: Pages (2005)

Asin: B00112DMA6
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