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The Book of Probes Paperback – September 30, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

One of the most controversial and original thinkers of our time, McLuhan is universally regarded as the father of communications and media studies. But he is far more than that. A charismatic figure, whose remarkable perception propelled him onto the international stage, McLuhan became the prophet of the new information age. In his own time he drew both accolades and criticism for his intuitive vision, his steady stream of thought-provoking metaphors, and fast-forward glimpses into a world where software would eclipse hardware and the power of mass media would eclipse the power of government. The information superhighway fulfilled his perceptive observation that the world would ultimately become a global village.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Gingko Press Inc. (September 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584232528
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584232520
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 6.8 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,237,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
"Like Kafka and Freud, McLuhan is a writer who is often referred to or quoted without being understood, resulting in a shorthand for cultural conditions that everyone recognizes but few can articulate. This title provides a refreshing representation of the philosopher's work, artfully arraying his ideas as brief statements in the space of the page and setting them against stunning imagery and design work by David Carson."
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tom on October 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First of all, I'm baffled about previous posters claiming Carson is not the designer here with no explanation for the charge. Secondly, does it really matter if Carson assistants contributed under his guidance (if that be the case)?

I'm a big fan of Marshall McLuhan and Carson, so I was pre-disposed to a welcome reception of this volume, and indeed I feel it delivers the goods. At times Carson's designs appear perhaps unnecessarily minimalist, until one considers what must be his reverence for the top billing - McLuhan's probes. McLuhan's 'probes' are ironizable (self-deconstructing) conceptual assertions intended to serve the phenomenological purpose of disclosing new percepts about the world. And in this way the book delivers effectively if used as such.

Happy probing..
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Howard Wetzel on December 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
High praise to Gingko Press for such a beautiful book in both construction and graphics, a retrieval and development on the original Quentin Fiore collaborations of the sixties. And this is no ordinary book of quotations, organized by topic or chronology. Each quote indeed acts as a probe for the reader, and of the reader; and collectively each of the hundreds of isolated insights echo and haunt the others. The effect is similar to the famous Monday night seminars; close the book and you are not quite sure what you've learned, but walk around and the way you see the culture has been changed. For the literati, there is an introduction and an important essay by W. T. Gordon describing McLuhan's debt to de Saussure's linquistics. But this is not a book for the scholars and their after-the-crime-has-been-committed analysis. This is a book for the streets, not the ivory tower, for the poets and novelists, the misfits and malcontents of the digital consensus. It's a good review for those familar with McLuhan, and should be a fine introduction to a new generation of independent media scholars.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gord Wilson VINE VOICE on April 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Reading the advance hype for this book got me very excited. At last! I can understand Marshall McLuhan! Don't get me wrong. It's not that I haven't encountered MM before, but understanding him eluded me. I had hoped for more deluxe versions of the Quentin Fiore collaborations: War and Peace in the Global Village and The Medium is the Massage. But instead of timely, interesting photos, David Carson resorts to typography to frame pithy little McLuhan epigrams. Like those other two books, you at least get your shots of MM one line at a time, and some of the lines are very memorable indeed. Yes, I'm convinced Marshall McLuhan was a prophet (small "P" or maybe big "p"), and that everything he said has already happened. We live in a global village full of hot and cool media; the medium is the message. How obvious it all seems. Reading this book is ancient history. It's already happened. I just wish I could understand it better. Don't bother with the DaVinci code. Crack the McLuhan code and we will all know what's going on. This book reinvents "coffee table books"--it's an 8 inch square two inches thick--so it goes well on little coffee tables from Ikea. I see why they didn't use photos--Corbis owns them all, unlike the public domain galleries in the two earlier books cited (which dazzlingly show more than they tell). Someone new to McLuhan, finding Probes on the tiny coffee table, would probably drink it in, like someone quaffing a particularly good drink. But having finished the tumbler, they'd likely wander off to find the hostess and a refill, asking where she learned her mixology. Those reading, or rather encountering, Probes will also be left inquiring about McLuhan, and probing for more understanding.
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