The Bias of Communication: Edition 2

University of Toronto Press
1
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One of the most influential books ever published in Canada, Harold A. Innis's The Bias of Communication has played a major part in reshaping our understanding of history, communication, and media theory. First published in 1951, this masterful collection of essays explores the relationship between a society's communication media and that community's ability to maintain control over its development. Innis considers political and economic forces in the context of social change and the role of communication in the creation of both ancient and modern empires.

In an essay for this new edition, Innis biographer Alexander John Watson examines the reasons why Innis, at the height of his success as an economic historian, embarked on new research areas of communications and empire, as well as the ways in which Marshall McLuhan's interpretations of Innis changed and de-politicized Innis's work.

As important today as it was when first published, The Bias of Communication is essential reading for historians and scholars of communication and media studies.

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About the author

Harold A. Innis (1894-1952) was a Canadian professor of political economy at the University of Toronto and the author of seminal works on media, communication theory and Canadian economic history.

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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Toronto Press
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Published on
Apr 23, 1999
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781442692169
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Communication Studies
Social Science / General
Technology & Engineering / Telecommunications
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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The International History of Communication Study maps the growth of media and communication studies around the world. Drawing out transnational flows of ideas, institutions, publications, and people, it offers the most comprehensive picture to date of the global history of communication research and education.

This volume reaches into national and regional areas that have not received much attention in the scholarship until now, including Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East alongside Europe and North America. It also covers communication study outside of academic settings: in international organizations like UNESCO, and among commercial and civic groups. It moves beyond the traditional canon to cover work by forgotten figures, including women scholars in the field and those outside of the United States and Europe, and it situates them all within the broader geopolitical, institutional, and intellectual landscapes that have shaped communication study globally.

Intended for scholars and graduate students in communication, media studies, and journalism, this volume pushes the history of communication study in new directions by taking an aggressively international and comparative perspective on the historiography of the field. Methodologically and conceptually, the volume breaks new ground in bringing comparative, transnational, and global frames to bear, and puts under the spotlight what has heretofore only lingered in the penumbra of the history of communication study.

At the time of its publication in 1930, The Fur Trade in Canada challenged and inspired scholars, historians, and economists. Now, almost seventy years later, Harold Innis's fundamental reinterpretation of Canadian history continues to exert a magnetic influence.

Innis has long been regarded as one of Canada's foremost historians, and in The Fur Trade in Canada he presents several histories in one: social history through the clash between colonial and aboriginal cultures; economic history in the development of the West as a result of Eastern colonial and European needs; and transportation history in the case of the displacement of the canoe by the York boat. Political history appears in Innis's examination of the nature of French-British rivalry and the American Revolution; and business history is represented in his detailed account of the Hudson's Bay and Northwest Companies and the industry that played so vital a role in the expansion of Canada.

In his introduction to this new edition, Arthur J. Ray argues that The Fur Trade in Canada is the most definitive economic history and geography of the country ever produced. Innis's revolutionary conclusion - that Canada was created because of its geography, not in spite of it - is a captivating idea but also an enigmatic proposition in light of the powerful decentralizing forces that threaten the nation today. Ray presents the history of the book and concludes that "Innis's great book remains essential reading for the study of Canada."

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