Monday, February 12, 2007

Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man

McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1964

Review by Dan McCue

There's a good chance you've heard the phrase "the medium is the message." Marshall McLuhan, author of Understanding Media, spends most of the book explaining why. One of the ways in which he does this is comparing the mechanical, industrial age of years past with its specialized labor to the decentralized, electric age of today, described as the "global village." McLuhan's broad interpretation of medium means everything from the wheel to the television is examined for how it conveys information in our world.

McLuhan wrote Understanding Media in 1964, but his words seem positively prescient at times. Reading this may help you understand why you watch television, why you don't read a newspaper, and why so many of your friends are on Facebook, MySpace, and PLANs.

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