Marginal Man: The Dark Vision of Harold Innis

By Alexander John Watson

© 2005

WithMarginal Man, Alexander John Watson provides the first in-depth intellectual biography of Harold Adams Innis (1894-1952), the great Canadian economic historian and communications guru. Melding biography and analysis, Watson presents, in unprecedented detail, the links between key events in Innis' life and scholarly influences, and the intellectual synthesis that Innis produced.

Watson illustrates and reconciles the great thinker's movement from rural Ontario to the centre of Canadian and international scholarship, followed by his relegation to the margin by scholars who did not understand his political project and the essential consistency of his scholarship and vision. Based on exhaustive research including interviews and reviews of archival sources, the book's methodology reflects that of Innis himself, emphasizing oral tradition and 'dirt' research.

Innis' thought is remarkably relevant to today's world, and Marginal Man discusses his foresight with regards to technological changes - such as the arrival of the internet - as well as historical changes including the end of the Cold War and the beginnings of today's unipolar world order. This book is an extraordinary work of scholarship in its own right, as well as an essential companion to the work of its subject, one of Canada's most important minds.

Works by Harold A. Innis

History of the Fur Trade in Canada
The Bias of Communication

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 480 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.6in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP000818

  • PUBLISHED MAR 2007

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    Regular Price: $47.95

    ISBN 9780802094780
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  • PUBLISHED JAN 2006

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Quick Overview

This book is an extraordinary work of scholarship in its own right, as well as an essential companion to the work of its subject, one of Canada’s most important minds.

Marginal Man: The Dark Vision of Harold Innis

By Alexander John Watson

© 2005

WithMarginal Man, Alexander John Watson provides the first in-depth intellectual biography of Harold Adams Innis (1894-1952), the great Canadian economic historian and communications guru. Melding biography and analysis, Watson presents, in unprecedented detail, the links between key events in Innis' life and scholarly influences, and the intellectual synthesis that Innis produced.

Watson illustrates and reconciles the great thinker's movement from rural Ontario to the centre of Canadian and international scholarship, followed by his relegation to the margin by scholars who did not understand his political project and the essential consistency of his scholarship and vision. Based on exhaustive research including interviews and reviews of archival sources, the book's methodology reflects that of Innis himself, emphasizing oral tradition and 'dirt' research.

Innis' thought is remarkably relevant to today's world, and Marginal Man discusses his foresight with regards to technological changes - such as the arrival of the internet - as well as historical changes including the end of the Cold War and the beginnings of today's unipolar world order. This book is an extraordinary work of scholarship in its own right, as well as an essential companion to the work of its subject, one of Canada's most important minds.

Works by Harold A. Innis

History of the Fur Trade in Canada
The Bias of Communication

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 480 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.6in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    ... by giving us Innis in full, Watson's biography delivers the gift of a thinker about the human condition who was also an authentic Canadian prophet. This is surely one of the important books of the year.


    Roy MacSkimming
    The Globe and Mail - Friday, February 24, 2006
  • Author Information

    Alexander John Watson is a senior fellow at the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto.

  • Table of contents

    Acknowledgments

    Introduction: The Innisian Puzzle

    Part One: From the Margin, 1894–1939

    1. The ‘Herald’ of Otterville, 1894–1913
    2. The Great War, 1914–1918
    3. One of the Veterans, 1919–1923
    4. The Search for a New Paradigm, 1920–1929
    5. The Great Betrayal, 1930–1940

    Part Two: To the Margin, 1940–1952

    1. Hunting the Snark
    2. A Telegram to Australia: Innis’s Working Methods
    3. Innis and the Classicists: Imperial Balance and Social-Science Objectivity
    4. Time, Space, and the Oral Tradition: Towards a Theory of Consciousness
    5. At the Edge of the Precipice: The Mechanization of the Vernacular and Cultural Collapse
    6. Cassandra’s Curse

    Epilogue

    Notes

    Bibliography

    Index

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