Readers will be amazed by McLuhan’s prescience, unmatched by anyone since, predicting as he did the dramatic technological innovations that have fundamentally changed how we communicate. The Gutenberg Galaxy foresaw the networked, compressed ‘global village’ that would emerge in the late-twentieth and twenty-first centuries — despite having been written when black-and-white television was ubiquitous.
This new edition of The Gutenberg Galaxy celebrates both the centennial of McLuhan’s birth and the fifty-year anniversary of the book’s publication. A new interior design updates The Gutenberg Galaxy for twenty-first-century readers, while honouring the innovative, avant-garde spirit of the original. This edition also includes new introductory essays that illuminate McLuhan’s lasting effect on a variety of scholarly fields and popular culture.
A must-read for those who inhabit today’s global village, The Gutenberg Galaxy is an indispensable road map for our evolving communication landscape.
"A compelling exposition of how authors, printers, booksellers and readers competed for power over the printed page. . . . The richness of Mr. Johns's book lies in the splendid detail he has collected to describe the world of books in the first two centuries after the printing press arrived in England."—Alberto Manguel, Washington Times
"[A] mammoth and stimulating account of the place of print in the history of knowledge. . . . Johns has written a tremendously learned primer."—D. Graham Burnett, New Republic
"A detailed, engrossing, and genuinely eye-opening account of the formative stages of the print culture. . . . This is scholarship at its best."—Merle Rubin, Christian Science Monitor
"The most lucid and persuasive account of the new kind of knowledge produced by print. . . . A work to rank alongside McLuhan."—John Sutherland, The Independent
"Entertainingly written. . . . The most comprehensive account available . . . well documented and engaging."—Ian Maclean, Times Literary Supplement
This highly readable survey traces the history of printing with movable type from its 15th-century beginnings in Gutenberg's workshop to the technical advances of the 20th century. Observations on type design, book production, bestsellers, censorship, and other topics explore associations between printing and education, language, and literature.
S. H. Steinberg's classic study begins with the creative century, from 1450 to 1550, which witnessed the invention and origins of practically every single feature that characterizes modern printing. A look at the era of consolidation follows, noting additional developments and refinements. The final section examines the 19th century and its era of mechanization, which began with the invention of lithography and ended with William Morris's rediscovery of the Middle Ages. The book concludes with the radical innovations of the 20th century, ranging from new methods of production and distribution to the changing habits of producers and readers.