Television: Prophet of Cool

Marshall McLuhan

His writing was clumsy, his thoughts badly organized, and even he complained that he had trouble understanding his ideas. But he persisted nonetheless, and when he died last week in Toronto at the age of 69, Marshall McLuhan was recognized as one of the most influential thinkers of the '60s. Some of his insights into the nature of television and the electronic age became conventional wisdom, and people who did not know his name confidently repeated his most famous aphorism: "The medium is the message."

What that means is that television is...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!