Marshall McLuhan: The Medium and the Messenger

Philip Marchand, Author Ticknor & Fields $19.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-89919-485-1
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.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-262-63186-0
Paperback - 978-0-89919-947-4
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