100 books like The Mechanical Bride

By Marshall McLuhan,

Here are 100 books that The Mechanical Bride fans have personally recommended if you like The Mechanical Bride. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Medium and the Light: Reflections on Religion

William J. Buxton Author Of Harold Innis on Peter Pond: Biography, Cultural Memory, and the Continental Fur Trade

From my list on By or about the Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan (.

Why am I passionate about this?

William J. Buxton is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies and Senior Fellow, Centre for Sensory Studies, at Concordia University Montreal, Qc, Canada. He is also professeur associé au Département d’information et de communication de l’Université Laval, Québec City, Québec, Canada. He has edited and co-edited five books related to the life and works of the Canadian political economist and media theorist, Harold Adams Innis.

William's book list on By or about the Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan (

William J. Buxton Why did William love this book?

Mention has often been made of the extent to which Marshall McLuhan was a devout adherent of the Catholic faith. But little has been known about how he viewed the place of religion in the world particularly with reference to the fate of the Catholic Church. This carefully selected collection of McLuhan’s writings on religion provides one with clarifying insights into his views on a broad range of Church-related issues including the nature of conversion, the spiritualism of youth, the impact of technology on liturgy, and Vatican II.  Overall, by revealing that McLuhan viewed faith as a sense, the volume illuminates the connections he made between religion and media.  

By Marshall McLuhan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Medium and the Light as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Say the name Marshall McLuhan and you think of the great discover's explorations of the media. But throughout his life, McLuhan never stopped reflecting profoundly on the nature of God and worship, and on the traditions of the Church. Often other intellectuals and artists would ask him incredulously, "Are you really a Catholic?" He would answer, "Yes, I am a Catholic, the worst kind -- a convert," leaving them more baffled than before. Here, like a golden thread lining his public utterances on the media, are McLuhan's brilliant probes into the nature of conversion, the church's understanding of media, the…


Book cover of Distant Early Warning: Marshall McLuhan and the Transformation of the Avant-Garde

William J. Buxton Author Of Harold Innis on Peter Pond: Biography, Cultural Memory, and the Continental Fur Trade

From my list on By or about the Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan (.

Why am I passionate about this?

William J. Buxton is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies and Senior Fellow, Centre for Sensory Studies, at Concordia University Montreal, Qc, Canada. He is also professeur associé au Département d’information et de communication de l’Université Laval, Québec City, Québec, Canada. He has edited and co-edited five books related to the life and works of the Canadian political economist and media theorist, Harold Adams Innis.

William's book list on By or about the Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan (

William J. Buxton Why did William love this book?

This book explores McLuhan’s relationship with avant-garde art. While McLuhan’s engagement with artistic endeavours, has received some attention, Kitnick examines in detail not only how McLuhan’s work on art developed over an extended period, but how his views on artistic practice came to inform the work of others. He builds on McLuhan’s contention that art was not primarily a means of self-expression, but rather the basis for cultural exploration and environmental change. Drawing inspiration from figures such as James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, and Wyndham Lewis. McLuhan, according to Kitnick, saw members of the avant-garde as artists who work within conventional structures in order to disrupt them, thereby throwing them into relief. 

By Alex Kitnick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Distant Early Warning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) is best known as a media theorist-many consider him the founder of media studies-but he was also an important theorist of art. Though a near-household name for decades due to magazine interviews and TV specials, McLuhan remains an underappreciated yet fascinating figure in art history. His connections with the art of his own time were largely unexplored, until now. In Distant Early Warning, art historian Alex Kitnick delves into these rich connections and argues both that McLuhan was influenced by art and artists and, more surprisingly, that McLuhan's work directly influenced the art and artists of his…


Book cover of Re-Understanding Media: Feminist Extensions of Marshall McLuhan

William J. Buxton Author Of Harold Innis on Peter Pond: Biography, Cultural Memory, and the Continental Fur Trade

From my list on By or about the Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan (.

Why am I passionate about this?

William J. Buxton is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies and Senior Fellow, Centre for Sensory Studies, at Concordia University Montreal, Qc, Canada. He is also professeur associé au Département d’information et de communication de l’Université Laval, Québec City, Québec, Canada. He has edited and co-edited five books related to the life and works of the Canadian political economist and media theorist, Harold Adams Innis.

William's book list on By or about the Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan (

William J. Buxton Why did William love this book?

Using McLuhan’s classic Understanding Media as a point of reference, the editors have assembled an impressive collection of essays that succeed in critically extending his ideas into a range of new directions. These include the biases of contemporary urban planning, transport (from a race perspective), gendered domestic and office space, and Black feminist activism. While remaining true to the exploratory spirit of McLuhan’s “probes,” the essays demonstrate both the shortcomings and potentialities of his body of work.

By Sarah Sharma (editor), Rianka Singh (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Re-Understanding Media as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The contributors to Re-Understanding Media advance a feminist version of Marshall McLuhan's key text, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, repurposing his insight that "the medium is the message" for feminist ends. They argue that while McLuhan's theory provides a falsely universalizing conception of the technological as a structuring form of power, feminist critics can take it up to show how technologies alter and determine the social experiences of race, gender, class, and sexuality. This volume showcases essays, experimental writings, and interviews from media studies scholars, artists, activists, and those who work with and create technology. Among other topics, the…


Book cover of Out of School: Information Art and the Toronto School of Communication

William J. Buxton Author Of Harold Innis on Peter Pond: Biography, Cultural Memory, and the Continental Fur Trade

From my list on By or about the Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan (.

Why am I passionate about this?

William J. Buxton is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies and Senior Fellow, Centre for Sensory Studies, at Concordia University Montreal, Qc, Canada. He is also professeur associé au Département d’information et de communication de l’Université Laval, Québec City, Québec, Canada. He has edited and co-edited five books related to the life and works of the Canadian political economist and media theorist, Harold Adams Innis.

William's book list on By or about the Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan (

William J. Buxton Why did William love this book?

This book dovetails with those of Kitnick as well as Sharma and Singh. While framed by a broader concern with the emergence of the Toronto School of Communication, it gives particular attention to how McLuhan’s notions about “information art,” came to influence artistic practice through initiatives such as “N.E. Thing and Company” (NETCO), Robert Smithson’s West Coast work and “General Idea.” Echoing some of the issues raised by the Sharma/Singh collection, he examines these ventures through the lens of power and gender. It is impeccably edited and handsomely illustrated, in line with the high production standards of McGill-Queen’s University Press.

By Adam Lauder,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Out of School as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Through a series of focused and interconnected case studies, Out of School explores the long history of information art associated with the Toronto School of Communication. It highlights the perspectives of artists inspired by the speculations of Marshall McLuhan and colleagues as well as the philosophical underpinnings of the Toronto School's ideas about information.

Using pre-Internet media such as telex and the telecopier, the artists explored in this book materialized visionary concepts of information without the aid of computers. Harbingers of contemporary digital culture, Bertram Brooker, N.E. Thing Co., Robert Smithson, Wyndham Lewis, General Idea, and other artists approached information…


Book cover of Decline and Fall: The struggle for power at a great American magazine: The Saturday Evening Post

Robert W. Merry Author Of A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent

From my list on the triumphs and struggles of American journalism.

Why am I passionate about this?

From my early teens I aspired to a career in journalism and publishing, manifest in my being editor of my junior high newspaper, my high school paper, and my college paper. After the army and grad school, I pursued my dream, covering Washington, D.C., for the Wall Street Journal for a dozen years and becoming an executive at Congressional Quarterly for 22 years, including 12 years as CEO. The great triumphs and struggles of the news business as it grew and evolved have stirred my consciousness throughout my life, and these five books provide some of the best narrative treatments on the topic that I have encountered throughout a lifetime in the publishing business.

Robert's book list on the triumphs and struggles of American journalism

Robert W. Merry Why did Robert love this book?

Before Life there was the Saturday Evening Post, a roaring success capturing the spirit of Middle America at a time when Middle America defined the cultural ethos of the nation. But by the late 1950s the potent reach of television advertising undermined the general-interest magazine business model, and the Post slipped into an inexorable spiral of decline that its top executives could never quite handle or even understand. There’s plenty of pathos and human drama as they struggle with forces beyond their control. 

By Otto Friedrich,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Decline and Fall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Uncorrected Proof Copy


Book cover of Bored, Lonely, Angry, Stupid: Changing Feelings about Technology, from the Telegraph to Twitter

Mark Bartholomew Author Of Adcreep: The Case Against Modern Marketing

From my list on advertising and technology.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by advertising—its creativity, its persuasive force, its sometimes relentless nature. I’m a law professor and I’ve written numerous articles on the relationship between law, technology, and advertising. A lot of what I’m interested in is psychology. Only by understanding the capabilities of audiences for advertising can judges and legislatures determine what legal limits need to be placed on advertisers.   

Mark's book list on advertising and technology

Mark Bartholomew Why did Mark love this book?

This fascinating book combines in-depth present-day interviews with historical accounts to illuminate the similarities and differences in how current and previous generations view technology. The juxtaposition generates significant insights. The meaning of vanity, boredom, loneliness, and anger have all changed under the influence of smartphones and social media. Fernandez and Matt reveal how these innovations are not just changing our habits, but the very content of our emotional lives.

By Luke Fernandez, Susan J. Matt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bored, Lonely, Angry, Stupid as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An Entrepreneur Best Book of the Year

Facebook makes us lonely. Selfies breed narcissism. On Twitter, hostility reigns. Pundits and psychologists warn that digital technologies substantially alter our emotional states, but in this lively investigation of changing feelings about technology, we learn that the gadgets we use don't just affect how we feel-they can profoundly change our sense of self. When we say we're bored, we don't mean the same thing as a Victorian dandy. Could it be that political punditry has helped shape a new kind of anger? Luke Fernandez and Susan Matt take us back in time to…


Book cover of Consuming Passions: The Dynamics of Popular Culture

Jean Kilbourne Author Of Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel

From my list on books critiquing advertising and the popular culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 1968, I saw an ad that changed my life. It was typical—insulting to women, demeaning. Yet, at that moment, it somehow crystallized so many of my experiencesthe sexist slights, the terrible jobs, the sexual harassment, the catcalls, the objectification. I thought, “This is atrocious … and it is not trivial.” I started collecting ads and lecturing on the topic.  I made my first film, “Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women” in 1979 (and have remade it three times since). Eventually I wrote and made films about alcohol and tobacco advertising. In 2015, I was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Jean's book list on books critiquing advertising and the popular culture

Jean Kilbourne Why did Jean love this book?

Williamson was one of the first people (after me) to critique advertising from a feminist point of view. I could have chosen her earlier book, Decoding Advertisements: Ideology and Meaning in Advertising, which also had a big influence on me, but this one is less academic and more readable.

Her discussion of how advertising channels people’s desire for progressive change into a need for products was one of the themes of my doctoral dissertation (written before this book). There are many gems, such as the fact that the ideal body type for women in ads has sometimes been that of a teenage boy!  

By Judith Williamson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Consuming Passions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Writing with wit and charm and intelligence Judith Williamson explores the forces that channel our tastes and structure our lives: films, books, television, advertisements, photography, music, political movements, and even the royal family.


Book cover of Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Jean Kilbourne Author Of Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel

From my list on books critiquing advertising and the popular culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 1968, I saw an ad that changed my life. It was typical—insulting to women, demeaning. Yet, at that moment, it somehow crystallized so many of my experiencesthe sexist slights, the terrible jobs, the sexual harassment, the catcalls, the objectification. I thought, “This is atrocious … and it is not trivial.” I started collecting ads and lecturing on the topic.  I made my first film, “Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women” in 1979 (and have remade it three times since). Eventually I wrote and made films about alcohol and tobacco advertising. In 2015, I was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Jean's book list on books critiquing advertising and the popular culture

Jean Kilbourne Why did Jean love this book?

This is one of the most brilliant and important books I have ever read!

Way ahead of his time, Postman described the increasing and detrimental role of entertainment in every aspect of American life. His predictions have been realized beyond his wildest nightmares. 

Although not a book about advertising, it helped me understand that advertising has been a key player in the trivialization of American culture and the corruption of the way we think. I had the privilege of knowing Neil, which certainly added to my appreciation of his genius.

By Neil Postman,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Amusing Ourselves to Death as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What happens when media and politics become forms of entertainment? As our world begins to look more and more like Orwell's 1984, Neil's Postman's essential guide to the modern media is more relevant than ever.

"It's unlikely that Trump has ever read Amusing Ourselves to Death, but his ascent would not have surprised Postman.” -CNN

Originally published in 1985, Neil Postman’s groundbreaking polemic about the corrosive effects of television on our politics and public discourse has been hailed as a twenty-first-century book published in the twentieth century. Now, with television joined by more sophisticated electronic media—from the Internet to cell…


Book cover of Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life

Barron Ryan Author Of Honey, If It Wasn't for You

From my list on finding your voice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a musician with a singular mission: to discover and present the beauty I’m uniquely positioned for. You may not expect a concert pianist to co-write a song with a man he would never meet, much less write an illustrated storybook about it. But given how I’ve learned to use my voice, I didn’t hesitate to become a first-time author with an illustrated storybook. May these recommendations help you find your voice as well.

Barron's book list on finding your voice

Barron Ryan Why did Barron love this book?

Even with the best practice approach, you’ll never be good at everything. Alchemy made me realize that not only is that acceptable, but it can be a good thing.

This alchemy isn’t about turning physical materials into gold, but about making the best out of your circumstances. My favorite example is Avis Rent A Car’s old slogan: “When you’re only No. 2, you try harder.” If you learn how to set expectations, almost anything can become a strength.

By Rory Sutherland,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Alchemy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

HOW DOES MAGIC HAPPEN?The Ogilvy advertising legend—“one of the leading minds in the world of branding” (NPR)—explores the art and science of conjuring irresistible products and ideas.

"Sutherland, the legendary Vice Chairman of Ogilvy, uses his decades of experience to dissect human spending behavior in an insanely entertaining way. Alchemy combines scientific research with hilarious stories and case studies of campaigns for AmEx, Microsoft and the like. This is a must-read." —Entrepreneur ("Best Books of the Year")

Why is Red Bull so popular, though everyone—everyone!—hates the taste? Humans are, in a word, irrational, basing decisions as much on subtle external…


Book cover of Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Businessman

Jeffrey J. Fox Author Of How to Become a Rainmaker: The Rules for Getting and Keeping Customers and Clients

From my list on how to be successful in business and life.

Why am I passionate about this?

By 18 I had read all the books I chose for this essay. During high school, I read biographies of John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Jefferson, Geronimo, Anne Bonny, J. Pierpont Morgan, Winston Churchill, Sophocles, and more. In addition to panoramic, sweeping, epic fiction—Harold Robbins, Tai-Pan, Lawrence of Arabia, Faulkner, Doctor Zhivago (read in Russian and English)—I studied and reread self-help, “how-to” books on everything: writing, cooking, fishing, whatever. I read Ted Williams’ book on hitting a baseball, but, alas, it didn’t help.

Jeffrey's book list on how to be successful in business and life

Jeffrey J. Fox Why did Jeffrey love this book?

Obvious Adams is a gem of a “book.” It is 58 pages long, and was originally published as a short story in the Saturday Evening Post magazine in 1916. Adams becomes an advertising superstar because he does one hard thing: he thinks. By thinking, he discovers obvious solutions to knotty problems. Did you ever here someone say, “I wish I thought of that?” The answer is simple: you didn’t study, analyze, think, hard enough. When my mother read my first book, “How to Become CEO,” she said, “Jeffrey, much of this is obvious.” “Correct Mom, but nobody does it.”

By Robert R. Updegraff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Obvious Adams as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

OBVIOUS ADAMS was first published as a short story in the Saturday Evening Post in April, 1916. Though it was the story of an advertising man, it was quickly recognized as presenting a germ idea basic to outstanding success in the business world and the professions. Harper & Brothers brought out the story in book form in September of the year of its publication in the Post. The book met with a ready sale. In reviewing it, the New York Times said, "The young man who is going to seek his fortune in the advertising business should have Obvious Adams…


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