[PW] ?Marshall McLuhan quote

Jeanne Schramm jeanne.schramm at gmail.com
Tue Apr 19 11:24:50 PDT 2016


A few assorted snippets which may be helpful:
McLuhan states that the printed word through "cultural saturation" in the
18th century "homogenized the French nation" and opened the way for the
Revolution. But it could not take "complete hold" on a society such as
Great Britain, in which the preceding "ancient oral traditions of common
law" was very powerful and "backed by the medieval legal institution of
Parliament."   (Print culture led instead to major revolutions in France
and North America because they lacked contrasting institutions of
comparable power.)

On Tue, Apr 19, 2016 at 1:40 PM, S M Colowick <januarye at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 19, 2016 at 9:54 AM, John Henderson <jhenderson at ithaca.edu>
> wrote:
> >
> > If Marshall McLuhan really did say or write "America is the only country
> ever founded on the printed word," why can't I find the original source?
>
> Google Books tells me that Harry Golden's 1962 book So Long As You're
> Healthy has a few pages about McLuhan, apparently reviewing a speech
> that he gave. A snippet says, "Dr. McLuhan offered that the United
> States is the only country founded on literacy--on the Gutenberg
> press."
>
> That same year (1962) McLuhan wrote The Gutenberg Galaxy, "a
> pioneering study in the fields of oral culture, print culture,
> cultural studies, and media ecology" (per Wikipedia). It wouldn't
> surprise me if some version of this idea appears in that book, but I
> haven't found it by searching the preview version available.
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