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The Global Village: Transformations in World Life and Media in the 21st Century Paperback – Jul 12 2011

3.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (Sept. 1 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195079108
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195079104
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1.2 x 13.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #729,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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"Culturally, what is happening now is titanic," Marshall McLuhan's collaborator, Bruce R. Powers, writes in the preface to The Global Village. Whether Powers means to suggest that we are all aboard a sinking ship is open to question. And even if we do register the apocalyptic allusion in Power's phrase, it helps to remember that an apocalypse isn't just a catastrophe; it's also a revelation. The Global Village is McLuhan's most theoretical and systematic attempt to present his insights on the changes wrought by late-20th-century technological advancements. Though the same basic concerns lie at the heart of this book as in McLuhan's previous works, The Gutenberg Galaxy and Understanding Media, here the transition from mechanical to electronic age is cast as "a vast material and psychic shift between the values of linear thinking, of visual, proportional space, and that of the values of the multi-sensory life, the experience of acoustic space ... the idea that there is no cardinal center, just many centers floating in a cosmic system which honors only diversity." The book offers a new frame of reference through which to ponder this monumental global shift: it's actually a little diagram McLuhan invented that he calls the "tetrad." Looking a bit like a mobius strip, but with more loops, the tetrad is designed to help us understand the complicated and often unanticipated consequences of actions and events. The authors insist that tetradic logic can be applied to most any conceptual problem. In the book's epilogue, for example, McLuhan uses it to frame a discussion of U.S.-Canada relations: "As the United States careens towards its rendezvous with the unified effects of combined video technologies," McLuhan writes, "it might steadily keep its eyes on the rear-view mirror ... to see how the Canadians sidestep the impact of these new media, keeping a sort of stasis in place so characteristic of the northern ability to juggle fierce separatism and regionalisms without cataclysmic finality."

McLuhan and Powers use the logic of the tetrad not only to "replay various futures" and "suggest experimental alternatives," but to simultaneously reveal something crucial about the relation of future and past, which they characterize as "slamming into each other at the speed of light." In its attempt to comprehend complex cultural changes in historical context, The Global Village offers itself as a revelation designed to avert a catastrophe. --Russell Prather

From Library Journal

This is not a revised or updated version of McLuhan's Understanding Media ( LJ 6/1/64) or even War and Peace in the Global Village (LJ 11/1/68). It was written, according to Powers, between 1974 and 1980 (McLuhan died in 1980) and "put together" between 1976 and 1984. McLuhan's thesis has always been that electronic technologies have been altering and reconstituting people in ways they don't understand and causing them to lose their private identities. This book probes the same theme from different angles, but with the same McLuhanesque all-over-the-place reasoning. Powers seems to have had a leavening effect on the master's breathless prose and extravagant presentation. The book should provoke people to think, if nothing else. For McLuhan collectors. See also Philip Marchand's Marshall McLuhan and George Sanderson and Frank Macdonald's retrospective, reviewed in this issue, p. 75.
- A.J. Anderson, G.S.L.I.S., Simmons Coll., Boston
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Paperback
I'm surprised this travesty is still in print. "Not in McLuhan's style" is a kind understatement; Powers demonstrates flagrant misunderstanding and confusion of basic McLuhanesque ideas. Try 'Laws of Media' or 'Understanding Electric Language' instead.
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By A Customer on Sept. 14 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is for the McLuhan enthusiast who would like to figure out the ground on which McLuhan stands. It is chock full of McLuhan's ideas, but not presented in McLuhan's typical style. Published 9 years after McLuhan's death, it seems likely that co-author Bruce Powers assembled the material for publication.

If you are not already very familiar with McLuhan's thoughts and earlier writings, this book is not for you. If you are already very familiar with McLuhan's words, you won't find anything new, but you will find some of McLuhan's basic ideas amplified and extrapolated.
Essentially an essential book for the McLuhanite.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
great book, great edition
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars FIGURING OUT THE GROUND Sept. 14 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is for the McLuhan enthusiast who would like to figure out the ground on which McLuhan stands. It is chock full of McLuhan's ideas, but not presented in McLuhan's typical style. Published 9 years after McLuhan's death, it seems likely that co-author Bruce Powers assembled the material for publication.

If you are not already very familiar with McLuhan's thoughts and earlier writings, this book is not for you. If you are already very familiar with McLuhan's words, you won't find anything new, but you will find some of McLuhan's basic ideas amplified and extrapolated.
Essentially an essential book for the McLuhanite.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Laudable Extension of McLuhan: Cool, Seminal & Involving! Dec 8 2000
By T. R. Rak - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Powers says that this book is not about "final answers." By God he's right! And he proceeds to effloresce a wondrous garden wrought of the print medium brimming over with fresh probes, "osmic space," brains "astonied," the secret lives of "sense ratios," and other electrific, outsized insights and invitations into the futurepresent. One could readily argue and effectively so that "The Global Village..." is indeed a worthy extension of the medium of Professor McLuhan himself, ringing true and resonating orchestrally with the spirit and vivacity of that bright, iridescent, warm and radiant bulb which, tragically, went out suddenly and left us in darkness on New Year's Eve, 1980.
Feed forward 9 years. Powers'/McLuhan's "tetrad" is a mesmerizingly rich metaphor lending clarity and intensity to McLuhan's seminal 1964 probicon, "Understanding Media--The Extensions of Man." This "new" 1989 book is a MUST-read, a reverent continuance of McLuhan's oeuvre, a virtual channeling of his spirit, and in various ways easier to grasp perhaps, more accessible even, than the monumentally revolutionary/visionary UMTEOM.
The beauty of McLuhan and by protraction Dr. Bruce Powers here is that these men are not pedants but facilitators. Their goal, much like that of Carl Rogers or George B. Leonard or Joseph Campbell, is not to pound stuff into brainpans, but to gently yet insistently open up minds to possibilities, perils, challenges, potentialities and joys imperative in the present reality/"reelity?" or whatever one wishes to term the agardish within which each of us swims, breathes, eats, creates, dances, defecates, procreates and seethes.
If McLuhan is the sorcerer, Bruce Powers is his worthy apprentice, now successor. In fact he veritably invites all of us to be successors (McLuhanatics?), to become involved (the essential definition of "cool"). This book is exciting, invigorating, pulsating, intensely involving and above all, highly rewarding. We need more extensions of McLuhan like this one. This is a superb nonbook, a hybrid medium, and a seamless read. TGV will get your probing juices flowing. It's as revitalizing as pure MDMA (as far as "the mdma is the message" goes). Buy this deceptively modest paperback, and step into it like a hot bath.
13 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a shameful posthumous misrepresentation of McL.'s thought. June 9 2000
By Howard Wetzel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I'm surprised this travesty is still in print. "Not in McLuhan's style" is a kind understatement; Powers demonstrates flagrant misunderstanding and confusion of basic McLuhanesque ideas. Try 'Laws of Media' or 'Understanding Electric Language' instead.
5.0 out of 5 stars Prophetic July 27 2015
By M. Duesterhaus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For those who want to understand where we are going culturally in the West, read McLuhan. Written decades ago, it is prophetic.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Oct. 29 2015
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The quality is very good! Thanks you so much!


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