• Powe, B.W.. The Solitary Outlaw: Trudeau, Lewis, Gould, Canetti, McLuhan . Toronto: Lester and Orpen Dennys, 1987.

183: “Marshall McLuhan was a North American intellectual involved in the contract with the New World. He extended the vision of Cosmic Man and the global village that Wyndham Lewis himself had first described. McLuhan is also in the tradition of Canadian thinkers and artists fascinated by communication signals and reception. He was realistic about any attempt to shut off electric input and influence: it was impossible. In the post-literate society, literacy could function as a DEW line: the Distant Early Warning about over load, saturation, and dissolution of individual integrity. Literacy kept you critically conscious: it could restore the balance to the imbalance of instantaneous information. The printed word could be a weapon against unconscious drift. The eighteenth-century focus on language, education, and debate could work like a still point in the electronic wave.”


  • Snider, Norman. “Letters of Marshall McLuhan [review].” Maclean’s 100 Dec 21 1987): 54.

54: “Added to the mix of piety and rebellion in his character was a strong sense of his own superiority and personal destiny. ‘I have just refused tea at Downing Street with Mrs. Neville Chamberlain,’ he wrote from Cambridge. ‘Not the least bit interested.’ And going on a more prophetic note: ‘I am going to tear the hide right off Canada some day and rub salt in it.’

“But when he returned to North America in 1938, he led the life of a conventional academic. He taught English literature at such institutions as the University of Wisconsin, St. Louis University and Assumption College in Windsor, Ont. He tried to help Wyndham Lewis, the indigent British novelist, painter and pioneer philosopher of popular culture, to become established in St. Louis. McLuhan published his own first study in popular culture, an essay on the comic strip Blondie, in 1944. But he concentrated on using writers he admired as vehicles for his own ambition. ‘I am solving my own problems parabolically by tackling yours,’ he wrote to Lewis. Still, in a letter to Pound, his own ambitions came to the fore: ‘I am an intellectual thug who has been slowly accumulating a private arsenal with every intention of using it.'” (54)



  • Swan, Karen. “Beyond the Gutenberg Galaxy [review].” Teachers College Record 89 (Fall 1987): 165.

165: “Accepting Marshall McLuhan’s claim that the invention of movable type in the fifteenth century largely determined modern Western culture, [Eugene] Provenzo’s basic thesis that the invention and proliferation of computers and microcomputers in today’s world will produce equally great societal change. He explores the dimensions of this change in the first six chapters of the book. These provide a decidedly readable synthesis of the major writings on the subject, including its treatment in works of fiction, giving a well-balanced review of most of the major issues raised by the ‘computer revolution.’ Noteworthy among these is his discussion of computers and colonialism. What is noticeably absent is discussion of cognitive effects of computer use. Considering that a major point in McLuhan’s argument is that our use of media changes the way we think, and further that this is a work directed toward educators, the oversight is glaring indeed.”