New Book Announcement: McLuhan Misunderstood: Setting the Record Straight by Robert K. Logan

14Apr13
Product Details

The past two decades, beginning with the public’s use of the Internet in 1994 and continuing with the emergence of notebook computers, smart phones, tablets, e-readers, blogs, wikis, Twitter, and social media, has seen the most rapid evolution of communications and its impact on every aspect of society from commerce to education and from culture to government. Digital media are impacting every aspect of our lives, but they are more in control of us than we are of them. The ideas of Marshall McLuhan, scholar, social critic, literary critic, poet, and artist, can provide the kind of guidance we need, but sadly he is misunderstood by most. This book posits that McLuhan holds the key to our understanding of the new digital media. Marshall McLuhan was one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century. This book will set the record straight and provide a guide to and insights into the thinking of Marshall McLuhan. This book is the medium and Marshall is the message.

This book is an expansion of an earlier lecture by Bob Logan, the text of which was published on this blog here http://tinyurl.com/ce6noez .

  • Publication Date: September 24, 2013
  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Key Publishing House Inc (Sep 24 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1926780523
  • ISBN-13: 978-1926780528
  • List Price: CDN $32.95
  • Advance Reviews

“Misunderstandings occur with respect to McLuhan’s published ideas because he engaged in exploration rather than exposition, eschewed a point of view, worked from ground to figure and backwards from effects to causes, putting the onus on readers to fill in background information and construct their own understandings. The latter makes his writing a cool medium, demanding that readers fill in what is missing and arrive at their own conclusions. A reading of the totality of his intellectual output clarifies his intentions considerably”. – Alexander Kuskis, publisher of The McLuhan Galaxy blog, Gonzaga University, Canada

“In this slim volume, Robert K. Logan resituates the thought of Marshall McLuhan—fending off misunderstandings and misplaced critiques—by highlighting McLuhan’s three major influences, by reviewing the his five major ‘conceptual tools,’ and by summarizing four interrelated breakthroughs. In identifying the origin of some of McLuhan’s ideas and showing the relevance of McLuhan’s thought today, Logan does a great service to media ecology and McLuhan studies. He brings many of McLuhan’s insights to wider audiences and to contemporary situations.” —Corey Anton, Grand Valley State University, USA

McLuhan Misunderstood is a courageous and brilliant guide to the exploration of the complex works of the famous Canadian scholar. Robert K. Logan—himself a close collaborator of Marshall McLuhan—offers a clear and comprehensive position about the most controversial topics in McLuhan’s work.” —Adriana Braga, Pontifical Catholic University, Brazil

McLuhan Misunderstood reveals a secret that scientists know very well: any brilliant insight stems from a fallacy—misunderstanding leads to knowledge. By reversing McLuhan’s cryptic style, Robert K. Logan replays his mentor, explains what McLuhan explored, merges “two cultures” and definitely marshals a flurry of insights that allow us to understand McLuhan’s heuristic thinking as a way to reshape our brand new human ecology.” —Paolo Granata, University of Bologna, Italy

““Media determinist!” “Technophile!” “Luddite!” Marshall McLuhan has been misunderstood—even in contradictory ways—as few others. Robert Logan brilliantly sets the story straight as he grounds the contexts we need for a proper understanding of McLuhan. In a lucid, yet detailed fashion Logan explains McLuhan’s cryptic and capturing one-liners, including how his work predicted and even explains social media.” —Mogen Olesen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

“Professor Robert Logan has devoted much of his late career to clarifying certain aspects of McLuhan’s general media theory. He is partly responsible for dissipating the charges of technological determinism that were laid upon McLuhan throughout the 1970s and 1980s. What’s more, Logan’s recent book does an incredible job upgrading McLuhan for the digital age. Although many of McLuhan’s insights were meant to interpret communication phenomena in the electronic age, Professor Logan convincingly shows that much of what the man had to say about TV could also be applied to today’s media environment, characterized by digital interactive media, fractured attention, and information overload. McLuhan Misunderstood: Setting the Record Straight proves that classic authors and their works are beyond categorization, irreducible to a single message, and inexhaustible in the possibilities of being; it demonstrates that McLuhan’s thought—much like the media of communication he sought to understand—is alive and in constant flux.” —Laureano Ralon, Figure/Ground Communication Blogger, Canada

“Understanding media is not easy. Back in the 1960s Marshall McLuhan opened our eyes up and expanded our vision of the media ecology. Understanding McLuhan has never been easy either (“I don’t necessarily agree with everything I say” said McLuhan. Just imagine the rest). Thanks to Bob Logan now we can get closer to a full understanding of McLuhan’s complex and amazing vision of contemporary culture.” —Carlos A. Scolari, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain

“More than anyone else, Robert K. Logan has kept Marshall McLuhan’s thought alive over the generations. And now that the academic landscape seems finally ready for a thorough rereading of McLuhan’s work, we are deeply fortunate to have professor Logan still here with us to clarify and help us understand it. With stunning lucidity, scholarly precision and good humor, Bob Logan makes McLuhan’s thinking accessible to readers of the 21st century. His book impressively shows, and with apparent ease, how many of McLuhan’s ideas still hold relevance today. It is an essential introduction and an absolute must read for everyone interested in one of the most intriguing and provocative thinkers of recent intellectual history.” —Yoni Van Den Eede, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

“Not only does Bob Logan’s McLuhan Misunderstood not misunderstand McLuhan, and sets the record straight, but the book provides one of the best understandings of McLuhan around. Logan worked with Marshall McLuhan in the 1970s, and is one of the very few scholars who obtained his understanding of McLuhan not only from McLuhan’s writings and lectures, but from all-important conversations, the top of the line in the acoustic realm. This special savvy shows throughout the volume, and makes it required reading for all who seek to better understand the media of the 21st century.” —Paul Levinson, author of Digital McLuhan and New New Media, USA

Robert K. Logan, PhD is professor emeritus of physics at the University of Toronto, fellow of St. Michael’s College, and chief scientist at the sLab, OCAD University. He collaborated and published with Marshall McLuhan between 1974 to 1980. He is the author of a dozen books including one coauthored with McLuhan, The Future of the Library: An Old Figure in a New Ground as well as The Alphabet Effect (1984, 2004), The Sixth Language (2000, 2004), Understanding New Media (2011), and What Is Information? (2013).
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