The Gutenberg Galaxy

Marshal McLuhan

My first McLuhan book, and from what I understand, the last actually sane book he wrote before he went five ways crazy. The Gutenburg Galaxy is an unusual work, even as an academic one, drawing various points together from multiple disparate sources, with many threads of logic running concurrently. However, once you realize what the singular running theme of the book is, it is surprisingly easy to understand as a history of the written word and the various developments it underwent after the invention of the printing press. Though, as with any glossy history, it can only talk in big broad strokes that can't cover any one specific thing for too long.

Alberto Manguel might offer the same history in a much more clear and personable way, but McLuhan is at least interesting from a historical perspective, and how he united these many different lines of thought into a single new field soon known as media studies.

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