Paul Levinson talks about Neil Postman & Marshall McLuhan


Published on Feb 8, 2013

I talk about Neil Postman shortly after his death in October 2003, at a New York State Communication Association (NYSCA) memorial in his honor in the Catskills. I recount how I first met Marshall McLuhan in 1977, when Postman asked me as his doctoral student at New York University to write an Introduction for McLuhan’s “Laws of the Media” (Tetrad) essay in et cetera Magazine. Also mentioned in my talk – Lance Strate, Thom Gencarelli, and Molly Vozick-Levinson. (Thanks to Claude Almansi for the caption transcript.)

Neil Postman (1931-2003)                                ***

   Question posed to Neil Postman:-

   Q: How do you think [Marshall McLuhan] has influenced your work?

   A: I can’t think of a book that I’ve written that I could have written if not for McLuhan. Which is not to say of course that he approved of any he might have read, or would approve of others that he never did read, but so far as I’m concerned, I always have felt that the question that he asked which is I think his main contribution, is embedded in every idea that formed a book for me — whether I was writing about media in Amusing Ourselves to Death or writing about language in Crazy Talk, Stupid Talk, or writing about education in Teaching As A Subversive Activity — that the question that McLuhan posed is at the heart of it.

Paul Levinson

Paul Levinson is an American author and professor of communications and media studies at Fordham University in New York City. Levinson’s novels, short fiction, and non-fiction works have been translated into twelve languages. Wikipedia

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