McLuhan Reconsidered by LA Review of Books

How to Become a Famous Media Scholar: The Case of Marshall McLuhan

Following the link, you’ll find an article by Jefferson Pooley for the L.A. Review of Books. The title, you may have noticed, is a bit sardonic. And reading the rest of the article will convince you, the author clearly has his issues with McLuhan. The story he tells of McLuhan’s rise to fame is certainly an alternative to the story one usually hears in Media Ecology friendly circles. But if we can’t disprove what he says, then we need to consider revising our sometimes mystical narrative of McLuhan’s ascendance.

Well worth considering. And I look forward to reading intelligent responses to his criticisms of McLuhan. The comments thread was… interesting.

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About the Contributor

James Ogden Sharpe

James Ogden Sharpe is a black belt from Texas pursuing a Bachelor's in interdisciplinary studies combining anthropology, psychology, and media studies. Were the world's economic, social, and political edifices not crumbling, he would study literature or photography or spend more time at the movies. His work has appeared before many professors and has been generally well-received--in the B+ to A- range. 


  1. Howard Wetzel says:

    A good recap of once fashionable understanding and its retrieval; however if he is once again fashionable, the understanding hasn’t gotten any deeper. His ‘conservatism’ came from a present always in the context of an evolving tradition of centuries, not being merely au courant just because it was modern. A student of McLuhan needs decades to recognize how much tradtion and continuity McLuhan brings to bear through his use of the Trivium in his media insights.

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