Marshall Mcluhan: The Modernism of the Mass Media

  • Christopher Brookeman
Part of the The Contemporary United States book series


In his profile of Mcluhan, called ‘What if he is right?’, Tom Wolfe examines the process by which Mcluhan, a hitherto unknown professor of English literature, became by the mid-1960s an internationally celebrated expert on the effects of the mass media, a consultant to ‘IBM, General Electric, Bell Telephone’.1 In return for his promotion of the electronic media, a number of multinational corporations began to subsidise Mcluhan’s Centre for Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto. The immense popular and academic purchase of Mcluhan’s ideas and in particular his two catch phrases ‘the medium is the message’ and the world as ‘global village’ is just one symptom of a craze for Mcluhan’s theories in his heyday that one critic has called ‘Mcluhanacy’.2 Mcluhan’s ideas, so influential in the creation of post-war attitudes towards the electronic media, particularly television, need to be taken out of the world of corporate public relations, where they once found a temporary fashionable home, and returned to their original context as part of the debate on the effects of mass culture.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Selected Bibliography

  1. Stanley Aronowitz, False Promises: The Shaping of American Working Class Consciousness (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1973).Google Scholar
  2. Robert Atwan, Barry Orton and William Vesterman (eds), American Mass Media: Industries and Issues (New York: Random House, 1978).Google Scholar
  3. Herbert J. Gans, Popular Culture and High Culture: An Analysis and Evaluation of Taste (New York: Basic Books, 1974).Google Scholar
  4. Herbert J. Gans, Deciding What’s News: A Study of C.B.S. Evening News, N.B.C. Nightly News, Newsweek and Time (New York: Vintage Books, 1980).Google Scholar
  5. William Kuhns, The Post-Industrial Prophets: Interpretations of Technology (New York: Weybright & Talley, 1971).Google Scholar
  6. Christopher Lasch, The Agony of the American Left: One Hundred Years of Radicalism (Harmondsworth: Pelican Books, 1973).Google Scholar
  7. Marshall Mcluhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1962).Google Scholar
  8. Marshall Mcluhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1964).Google Scholar
  9. Marshall Mcluhan, The Mechanical Bride: Folklore of Industrial Man (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1967).Google Scholar
  10. Marshall Mcluhan, The Medium is the Massage (Harmondsworth: Allen Lane, Penguin Press, 1967).Google Scholar
  11. Marshall Mcluhan, with Harley Parker, Through the Vanishing Point: Space in Poetry and Painting (New York: Harper & Row, 1969).Google Scholar
  12. Marshall Mcluhan, Culture is Our Business (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1970).Google Scholar
  13. Jonathan Miller, Mcluhan (London: Fontana Books, 1971).Google Scholar
  14. Herbert I. Schiller, Mass Communications and American Empire (New York: Augustus M. Keeley, 1970).Google Scholar
  15. Gerald Emanuel Stearn (ed.), Mcluhan Hot and Cool: A Primer for the Understanding of and a critical symposium with responses by Mcluhan (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1968).Google Scholar
  16. Hunter S. Thompson, Hell’s Angels (London: Penguin Books, 1967).Google Scholar
  17. Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (St Alban’s: Paladin Books, 1972).Google Scholar
  18. Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 (New York: Fawcett Books, 1974).Google Scholar
  19. Hunter S. Thompson, The Great Shark Hunt (London: Picador Books, 1980).Google Scholar
  20. Tom Wolfe, The Pump House Gang (New York: Bantam, 1969).Google Scholar
  21. Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (New York: Bantam, 1969).Google Scholar
  22. Tom Wolfe, Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers (New York: Bantam, 1971).Google Scholar
  23. Tom Wolfe, The Painted Word (New York: Bantam, 1976).Google Scholar
  24. Tom Wolfe, Mauve Gloves and Madmen, Clutter and Vine (New York: Bantam, 1977).Google Scholar
  25. Tom Wolfe, The New Journalism (London: Picador Books, 1977).Google Scholar
  26. Tom Wolfe, The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (London: Picador Books, 1981).Google Scholar
  27. Tom Wolfe, The Right Stuff (New York: Bantam, 1981).Google Scholar
  28. Tom Wolfe, From Bauhaus to Our House (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1981).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Christopher Brookeman 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Brookeman

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations