Books about the Media

Two new essays, of utmost relevance to current events:

Paul Levinson has published nine non-fiction books including his most recent New New Media published in 2009, revised and updated in 2012. Here are some of them:


Paul’s non-fiction book New New Media was first published in 2009 by Penguin Academics (a Pearson, Allyn and Bacon company), with a revised and updated second edition released in 2012. New New Media is a cutting-edge tour of the newest user-driven “new media”, turning consumers into producers – blogging, YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia, Facebook, Digg, more… and how this transformation has revolutionized just about all aspects of our personal lives from the way we get our news to how we watch television to the way we pick our Presidents. The second edition is expanded to include a special focus on the global impact of these new new media, affecting protest movements from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street… and more…

Joan Walsh, Editor-in-Chief of, says:

“Paul Levinson takes you on a walking tour – actually, it’s more like a running tour – of the media innovations that are transforming our world. He’s not just a scholar, he’s an explorer, immersing himself in MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and multiple blogging platforms to help us make sense of the galloping changes in media. Have we entered a glorious new era of media democracy, or are these innovations leveling standards of fairness and authority? Levinson remains an optimist without being blind to the dark side of change. Whether you want to learn to blog, podcast or Twitter yourself, or just keep track of the way such tools are remaking the world around you, New New Media is an indispensable guide.”

Jeff Jarvis, Director of New Media Program, City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism; Founder, Entertainment Weekly; Creator, BuzzMachine blog, says:

“Paul Levinson provides an invaluable and encyclopaedic guide to the newest of new media invented so far.”

Mignon Fogarty, creator of the award-winning Grammar Girl podcast, and author of the New York Times bestseller Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing, says:

“Insightful and comprehensive. The overviews are great for people who want to quickly get up-to-speed on the entire landscape or more experienced Web addicts who want to branch out, and the anecdotes and history will delight people who consider themselves old-timers.”
New New Media is available in paperback and also now in a Kindle edition. It has been translated into Chinese, Korean, Polish, and Arabic.



Cellphone: The Story of the World’s Most Mobile Medium and How It Has Transformed Everything! was published by Palgrave/Macmillan in April 2004 and available and for online order.

CellphoneSir Arthur C. Clarke said about Cellphone, “A superb and often amusing account of one of the greatest revolutions in human history, in which we are now living. The wristwatch phone of the old science fiction stories is now a reality! What more can we expect? Direct brain to brain communication? Stay tuned….” Douglas Rushkoff, writing in,calls Paul Levinson “a worthy appraiser of the function of this most ubiquitous wireless media tool in human affairs.” And he says Cellphone makes “an excellent case for the cell phone’s ability to reinstate the supremacy of the written word.” Pamir Gelenbe calls the book “a thought-provoking analysis” that is “certainly worth a read,” in the British publication, MediaWeek.

Chinese and Polish translations of Cellphone are now available.


Realspace: The Fate of Physical Presence in the Digital Age, On and Off Planet, published by Routledge in July 2003, explores the need for real face-to-face interaction and physical movement in an age of cyberspace… the destiny of humanity to reach beyond this planet and explore outer space… and how these themes play in our 21st century world.


Publisher’s Weekly says “Fans of Levinson’s previous works, as well as those interested in the relations between cyberspace, ‘real space’ and outer space, should relish this challenging and mind-opening read.”

The Midwest Book Review says “Realspace is an essential, thought-provoking purchase”.

And Edward Tenner, author of Why Things Bite Back, called Realspace “a rich, original, and sophisticated work that will be rewarding reading both for science fiction enthusiasts and for professionals in the history and sociology of science and technology”.

The Christian Science Monitor published an in-depth interview with Paul and said  Realspace “offers an irresistible perspective”.

Order a copy of Realspace .A Chinese translation of the book was released in 2007.

And see this new anthology about the intersection of space travel and religion Touching the Face of the Cosmos


Digital McLuhan: A Guide to the Information Millennium, was published worldwide in hardcover by Routledge in 1999; trade paperback edition 2001. Digital McLuhan won the 2000 Lewis Mumford Award for Outstanding Scholarship. WIRED‘s Kevin Kelly said about Digital McLuhan, “Paul Levinson completes McLuhan’s pioneering work. Read this book if you want to decipher life on the screen.” The New York Times said “Levinson performs a useful service … [he] applies McLuhan’s work to almost every facet of modern communications” and in another article “Digital McLuhan presents McLuhan in a new light, [for] a generation grappling with the transforming effects of cyberspace, cell phones and virtual reality.” Digital McLuhan is included on Robert Anton Wilson’s “ Recommended Reading List,” of “the bare minimum of what everybody really needs to chew and digest before they can converse intelligently about the 21st Century.” Professors in graduate and undergraduate classes around the world use this book to help their students put the Internet into perspective. The book has been published in Japanese, Chinese, Croatian, Romanian, Macedonian, and Korean translations.

Digital McLuhan

And see this new chapter of Digital McLuhan


The Soft EdgeThe Soft Edge: A Natural History and Future of the Information Revolution (Routledge hardcover 1997, trade paperback 1998) received major critical acclaim — ranging from WIRED (“Remarkable in both scholarly sweep and rhetorical lyricism…”) and The Financial Times of London (“a book that is both full of insights and provocative”) to‘s Cyberculture editor (“Levinson has a knack for making his reader feel intelligent and respected”) and Analog (“…defies the critics of technology”) — and the book was the subject of a 90-minute talk he gave at Borders at New York City’s World Trade Center, which aired on C-SPAN’s “About Books” on February 28, 1998. It is used in university classes around the world with its comprehensive view of where our communications technologies have been and where they are going. Translations of The Soft Edge are available in Portuguese, Polish, Turkish, and Chinese.

translations of my books

list of articles, 1976-present