Spring/printemps 2004

Marshall McLuhan and the Book: A Reconsideration

Wayne J. Urban
Regents' Professor of Education, Professor of History, Georgia State University
Published May 1, 2004
How to Cite
Urban, Wayne J. 2004. “Marshall McLuhan and the Book: A Reconsideration”. Historical Studies in Education / Revue d’histoire De l’éducation 16 (1), 63-83. https://historicalstudiesineducation.ca/hse/index.php/edu_hse-rhe/article/view/438.


In this essay, I look briefly at the work of Marshall McLuhan, particularly the Gutenberg galaxy, in which he discusses the nature of the book and the print medium through which it is produced. McLuhan’s views on the book are contextualized in terms of his other works, including his famous Understanding Media, which was published after the Gutenberg galaxy. McLuhan’s sense of himself as an avant garde intellectual and analyst of culture is evaluated, and found to be less convincing than a more nuanced view which sees him as both backward- and forward-looking in his work.