Was mass media guru Marshall McLuhan a deep thinker, a charlatan, a '60s fad or a bit of all three? "His books will probably be mined for years to come by clever prospectors hunting . . . for bits of invaluable ore," observes Marchand in this first full-scale biography.
Professor McLuhan grew up on the Canadian prairie and learned irrepressible verbal aggressiveness from his violent-tempered mother. He had a photographic memory and suffered repeated blackouts as an adult.
McLuhan taught English at Cambridge University in the 1930s, becoming an ardent convert to Catholicism, a cultural conservative steeped in T. S. Eliot, scornful of popular culture. Then, at the University of Toronto, this self-described intellectual thug discovered his true metier in the global network of electronic media and communications. WATCH THESE!