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The article title is: FASE 22: Book Review of ‘Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man’

Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian professor, made a splash in 1964 with his book Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, which quickly catapulted him, a university professor of English and American literature, into a leading position in the media industry. His ideas and words were so futuristic that people began to realise that “the media is no longer just a source of rumour and slander, no longer just a place to make sense, no longer just a super factory for profiteering, but the most creative form of culture in contemporary society, the most direct agent of change in our lives. ” In 1965, the New York Herald Tribune described him as “the most important thinker since Newton, Darwin, Freud, Einstein, and Pavlov…”. The first part of this book is a theoretical exposition of McLuhan’s main ideas, including the conclusions that “the medium is the message,” “cold and hot media,” and “the medium is an extension of the person.” The second part is a specific analysis that builds on the theories in the first part to analyse the 26 media of communication from ancient times to the present day. In his eyes, mediums seem to be everywhere. Anything that connects or relates people to people, people to things, or things to each other can be called a medium. He saw any technological progress, and development of human tools, as the growth of the medium, as an extension of the human body. He saw media, like technical tools, such as the wheel or the alphabet, as a vast extension of human sensory organs or bodily functions. Sound, for example, extends the human ear; the printed book is a great extension of human sight; television is a simultaneous extension of the human ear and eye. And “the whole of the electronic media extends our central nervous system on a global scale.” In short, people have to relate to their surroundings through the media. He also provides a vivid and insightful analysis of the forms of media that are often present in everyday life. A close reading of the book reveals that He was one of the first scholars to note the critical impact of advertising on contemporary society and human life. The analysis of advertising in his book is superb and well worth reading.