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Future Shock Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1984

4.4 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alvin Toffler is adviser to companies and governments worldwide on advances in technology, politics, economics, and society. His other books include The Third Wave, Powershift, War and Anti-War, and Creating a New Civilization, he live in Los Angeles, California.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reissue edition (June 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553277375
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553277371
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on May 25, 2000
Format: School & Library Binding Verified Purchase
It is a pleasant surprise to see that this book has been reissued as a hardcover. In the thrity years since its original publication, the basic truths and awesome prognositications have largely come to pass. Of course, in the process Mr. Toffler has become something of a cottage industry himself, since publishing several sequels (The Third Wave, Power Shift, etc.). Yet nothing surpasses the sheer magnitude of the argument forwarded here. Toffler marshalls a virtual mountain of evidence illustrating his claim of a rising flood of techniological, social, and economic change, largely emanating from the increasing influence of science and technology into every area of contemporary life.
Toffler's main concern is with the recognition that while a human being's capacity to adjust physically, psychologically, and socially to this torrent of change is finite and quite limited, the pace of change is increasing and expanding into more and more areas of individuals' lives. Moreover, no one is asking for these profound and endless changes; they stem more from the economic impulses of the marketplace than from any kind of consumer demand, and perhaps we should be asking to what extent this flood of innovations actually enhances our lives, and personal convenience associated with all these innovations and technological improvements are worth the social, economic, and political change that follows in its wake.
The term "future shock" refers to what happens when people are no longer able to cope with the pace of change. All sorts of symptoms and maladies results, ranging from depression to bizarre behavior to increases in susceptability to disease to absolute emotional breakdown.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Alvin Toffler is one crackerjack sociologist. He wrote a series of books concerning the direction of society, the first being this book, Future Shock. Future Shock was written in 1970, and it must have caused a sensation at the time. Toffler examines so many sociological issues that the mere scope of this book is mind-boggling. Toffler went on to write The Third Wave and Powershift, both of which I have not read. While some of Toffler's theories in this book did not pan out, most the observations he makes are eerily true.
Toffler's main argument is that humanity, as of 1970, is in the midst of an enormous shift from an industrial society to a super-industrial society. This new society will be characterized by such things as an acceleration of images, words, ideas, and technologies that could possibly overwhelm mankind (Sound familiar? Watch the news tonight and see how many graphics float by on the screen). Mankind will suffer a serious disconnect when these new ideas reach their fruition (if not well before then). This disconnect is "future shock," an inability to process the enormous amounts of information and change associated with the super-industrial revolution. Toffler likens future shock to the same sort of disorientation that a person experiences when he moves to a new area, or a new country, and suffers a severing of all he has known. While some people can adjust with seeming ease to this kind of dislocation, most of us suffer various maladies from this "shock." Toffler ends up attributing most of societies ills to this jarring social shock. Crime, drug use, the disintegration of society, the burgeoning of quasi-religious movements: all of these are symptoms of a society that can no longer cope with the vast amounts of information and change that technology is bringing about.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was first published in 1970 and was a call to take heed of the looming "Future Shock" or backlash of humanities biggest, unresolved dilemmas such as: the widening disparity between rich and poor, ie, the wealth of the world being monopolized by smaller and smaller percentage of the world human population, while the growing number of poor or outright poverty stricken are growing by leaps and bounds; burgeoning human population pressures with it's ever-increasing demands on limited resources; pollution of the food chains; technology with it's blessings and baggage of intrusive, dehumanizing side-effects; world health crisis, etc.

While humanity is currently preferring to live in a state of denial about the impending backlash of the mostly human-caused problems facing our present and immediate future, there is a growing accumulation of data never historically available to us before on how to deal with our problems. Will we put this knowledge to use in time?

So what exactly is "Future Shock"? Toffler explains: "We may define future shock as the distress, both physical and psychological, that arises from an overload of the human organism's physical adaptive systems and it's decision-making processes. Put more simply, future shock is the human response to over-stimulation". Overload= breakdown! The socio-political, economic and environmental bills are coming due and they WILL be paid, shocking or not!

Toffler sees that our time consuming, stressed-out, hyper-industrial, compulsive consuming society is leaving parents no time for proper child rearing- as if they were qualified for the task in the first place.
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