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Creating a New Civilization: The Politics of the Third Wave Paperback – 1995

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Editorial Reviews

"The gap between objective changes in the world at large and the stagnation of politics and government is undermining the very fabric of our political system... This book is a key effort in the direction of empowering citizens ... to truly take the leap and begin to invent a (new) civilization." Newt Gingrich, from the book's forward.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing; First Edition edition (1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570362238
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570362231
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,693,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAME on July 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
Toffler's great book was the first one 'Future Shock'. What came after did not have the newness, and the freshness- and it did not shock.
This work too is a replay of Tofflers' often repeated notion of human development in three great phases, an Agricultural , Industrial and now Information Age. There is truth in this picture but it is far too simplistic and one- dimensional to encompass the realities of our world. Take for instance the Energy question which the Tofflers seemed to feel would have a relatively easy solution when they wrote this book in the early nineties. Here we are well into the first decade of the twenty- first century and the non- renewable fossil fuel resource is causing havoc with Civilization as a whole.
Morever even when there are developments which reenforce the Toffler picture of our living in an 'Information Age' they come in surprising unpredictable ways which raise serious questions on many fronts. The development of the Internet would seem to strengthen Toffler's main idea of our moving into an Information Age Economy, one in which customization, and de- massification are central. Consider the multiplication of Media and of human expression which the Internet has allowed. This would seem to be a kind of consummate proof of the Toffler thesis. Yet look also at the possible 'dumbing down' of the population, at the undermining in certain areas of the integrity of the 'knowledge industry' in the Academy. Consider such political phenomena as the rise of Radical Islam and the way their terrorists make use of 'information age' technology to threaten and attack others.
The Tofflers' view of the Future is too one- sidedly optimistic. And it too in my opinion , 'arrogant' in its assumption that their idea or ideas understand it all.
Their book has some interesting suggestions about what the human future will look like, but they certainly do not 'see it all'- not even the half of it.
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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful By PrinceNYC on November 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
When I was in my early 20s I read a book called 'The Third Wave' by Alvin Toffler. It completely changed my life. It made clear the things I felt happening in the world and explained them in a way I still carry with me today. I became a Toffler devotee and read everyone of his 1000+ page books. Then in 1995 he wrote a small 200 word book with Newt Gingrich about the future of politics. It was the worse piece of crap I had ever read. It made no sense. It's ideas were vapid and muddled. Someone recently said that Newt is "a stupid guys idea of what a smart person sounds like." I completely agree. Knowledge without ethics, empathy or vision does not make you smart. It makes you dangerous.
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Format: Paperback
...then this might be an option, because it's just a rework and condensation of its predecessor. It also sports an intro written by Newt Gingrich; I have no idea why unless he was selected to provide an unintentional but effective example of outdated Second Wave power politics.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Eugene A Jewett on June 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
Toffler is a big thinker. His premise in this book as well as in his other books is that just as the agricultural first wave has given way to the second wave industrial age, that it in turn has yielded to the third knowledge revolution. He outlines the differences and prescribes the need for change.
In that men have difficulty adjusting to change (see "Who Moved My Cheese"), Toffler outlines how these clashes will be resolved. Just as companies in growth industries altenate between spurts of growth and plateaus of consolidation, societies experience the same disruptions. The Austrian school of economics would call it "creative destruction".
This book's core principles emanate from the mind of a visionary thinker. If you want a top-down view of the last couple of centuries it's worth the few hours of reading and thinking you'll have to invest.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By michael jennings on June 20, 1998
Format: Paperback
Authors' Alvin and Heidi Toffler would have readers believe that the world is being carried along by an inevitable tidal force of events known as the 'Third Wave' which, in turn, will effect the creation of a new civilization. While the arrival of a 'knowledge culture' will no doubt affect and change life as we know it, the 'information age' is in and of itself no guarantor of an emerging world order. The prediction "that we are the final generation of an old civilization and the first generation of a new one" is based on the authors' unswerving belief in inevitable progress. Inevitable progress is the belief that the forward movement of history is certain to happen. They assert that the technological, economical, political and cultural upheavals that are now taking place are not random or chaotic occurrences but rather, "nothing less than a global revolution, a quantum leap". The basis of this analysis is the conviction that a "clearly discernible pattern" exists and thus warrants such a claim. How can the authors' be so certain that a revolutionary 'Third Wave' civilization is destined to arrive on planet earth? The Tofflers's use of the questionable assumption of inevitable progress to reach a conclusive view of the future is insufficient and regrettable. The book's nine chapters, of which seven are previously published, form an accessible introduction to the Toffler's views on where the world is going.
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Format: Hardcover
Read 1st in 1995, re - read this week ( April 2013), they were ahead of their time with this book, A must read to understand the dynamic shifts in politics and power, based upon an Industrial model of the world giving way to the Information Revolution and Individual brain power, knowledge worker.I was an IBM Researcher at the time I read it first.

To give 1 a sense of timing, the Internet, and the Netscape Browser was just emerging in 1995 and people just started having access to this thing called the Internet. One still had to type the entire domain name into the field in order to get to a site, hyperlinks did not exist. Business models based on using the Internet were just emerging and as we know many of the dot coms collapsed in 1999. Software, and virtual work, information flow, is global and with the introduction of Twitter and Facebook I at least can see some further evidence of what it means to be a knowledge worker and the notion of information, and sharing in new communities, micro markets, v mass marketing and target markets.

IBM along with others were shipping manufacturing jobs to Asia and as we have seen demonstrated the rise of China and Manufacturing was based on labor, production, and cheaper overall supply chains. In 2013 were seeing a slowdown in China MFG, and for quite sometime have been arguing China needed to develop a domestic market for products. Now we have seen a return of some manufacturing but not what we had come to know as manufacturing following WW2, but 3D printing, customization, evidence once again of a decline in the mass manufacturing concept they provided while boosting their position on the value on software and intelligent systems, and the knowledge workers ability to comprehend the complexity.
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