understanding media

The McLuhan Explosion

Crosby, H. H. and Bond, G. R. (eds) (1968). The McLuhan Explosion: A Casebook on Marshall McLuhan and Understanding Media. New York: American Book Company.

This 'casebook' collects together the first three chapters of McLuhan's Understanding Media with a large number of reviews of this work, as well as of other McLuhan texts. The reviews mostly appeared in popular magazines between 1963 and 1967, and are here arranged chronologically with accompanying questions for students. The volume concludes with a set of exercises on McLuhan's work and a brief glossary of some of his key terms.

John M Johansen, An Architect for the Electronic Age, pp. 109-116
A discussion of McLuhan's work in terms of its relevance and importance for architecture.

Jonathan Barnett, Architecture in the Electronic Age, pp. 160-164
A second discussion of the relevance of McLuhan's work to architecture, including a discussion of 'non-visual space' and input from a number of contemporary architects.

Michael J. Arlen, Marshall McLuhan and the Technological Embrace, pp. 198-202
In this critical TV review from The New Yorker, Arlen suggests that McLuhan is more persuasive than profound. The show is as reverential of the media theorist as McLuhan is of modern technology, but Arlen has reservations with the claim that the alphabet and print have created linear, compartmentalized responses to the world and with McLuhan's cheery acceptance of modern technology. He concludes that McLuhan's comments are superficial and curtail rather than encourage serious contemplation. Also reprinted in Rosenthal (1968)

Publisher's Weekly, Graphics Convey Message in Medium is the Message, pp. 203-07
An informative and positive review of The Medium is the Massage focusing principally on how the design of the book helps in understanding its content.

Senior Scholastic, Understanding Marshall McLuhan: or Will TV Put a Zombie in Your Future?, pp. 211-16
A short, clear, accurate overview of McLuhan's key ideas: the ages of alphabet, print and electronics; changing sense ratios; the global village; today's 'now' culture; the rear-view mirror; the role of education; hot and cool media; media as extensions of our senses..