Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media Now Available on Kindle

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I’ve always wished I could sit down with the late Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) and ask him about the meaning of eBooks. Alas, that’s not possible. But at least I can now read his masterpiece, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, on my Kindle. The publication date at Amazon.com is listed as June 14, 2013 by Ginkho Press in Berkeley, California. The copyright is held by the Estate of Corinne McLuhan, his widow, who passed away in 2008. The price is $13.72.

I have been working my way through a paper copy of Understanding Media, savoring its insights and brilliant wordplay in contemplative encounters, often ruminated upon with TKC listener Jean Remple, who first fired my interest in McLuhan. Now I won’t have to decide whether to haul the paper book back and forth between Denver and Cambridge, Mass. I will always have it available in my archive or on my devices. I find it eerie to read a book written nearly 50 years ago that contains insights that seem as current as this one, from the introduction to the first edition:

In the mechanical age now receding, many actions could be taken without too much concern. Slow movement insured that the reactions were delayed for considerable periods of time. Today the action and the reaction occur almost at the same time. We actually live mythically and integrally, as it were, but we continue to think in the old, fragmented space and time patterns of the pre-electric age.

So this is electric news, having McLuhan’s work in eBook form. Enjoy the ride!

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