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Biography & Autobiography Philosophers

Extraordinary Canadians: Marshall McLuhan

by (author) Douglas Coupland

Penguin Group Canada
Initial publish date
Sep 2013
Philosophers, Media Studies, Educators
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2013
    List Price

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Who better than Douglas Coupland, a true child of Marshall McLuhan, to interpret the life and work of the communications guru? As novelist, sculptor, visual artist, and theatre performer, Coupland has created a body of work that often embodies McLuhan’s famous aphorism, “The medium is the message.” While the importance of McLuhan’s theories cannot be overstated, his written works are more often cited than read. Nonetheless, his predictions have been borne out: in the early 1960s, McLuhan wrote that visual, individualistic print culture would be replaced by what he called “electronic interdependence,” creating a new “global village.” With his trademark humour and brilliance, Coupland reveals the prescience of McLuhan’s ideas, situating them in a startlingly current context.

About the author


Douglas Coupland was born on a Canadian NATO base in Germany and raised in Vancouver, where he still resides. Among his best-selling novels are Generation X, Shampoo Planet, Polaroids From The Dead, Microserfs, Miss Wyoming, Hey Nostradamus! and Eleanor Rigby, altogether in print in some 40 countries. Coupland also exhibits his sculpture in galleries around the world, indulging in design experiments that include everything from launching collections of furniture to futurological consulting for Stephen Spielberg.


Douglas Coupland's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Leave it to novelist Douglas Coupland to try to reinvent the biography with Marshall McLuhan.... Coupland's considerable achievement is making one understand both the momentousness of McLuhan's intellectual achievement and the quirkiness of the Canadian crucible that nurtured and gave sustenance to it. Bravo." —National Post

"Only Douglas Coupland could have written Marshall McLuhan.... Coupland challenges the grandiose nationalistic poise of the series, and indeed the very nature of biography itself.... The celebrated novelist and cultural analyst paints an eclectic but reverent portrait of a man he considers first and foremost an artist.... Marshall McLuhan is a postmodern, unsentimental love letter from an appreciative and thoughtful heir to his intellectual legacy. The book raises deep questions but does so in Coupland's trademark detached style, which is wry, amused, and conversational." —Quill & Quire

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