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Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Violence at the Edge of the 21st Century Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1991


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Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Violence at the Edge of the 21st Century + The Third Wave + Future Shock
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (November 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055318086X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553292152
  • ASIN: 0553292153
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 4.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Knowledge, not violence nor money, is the essence of power in the information age, claims Toffler ( Future Shock ) as he observes "info-wars" raging in such arenas as computers, high-definition TV, electronic networks, and industrial espionage, and the fight for control of customer data by retailers, manufacturers, banks and credit-card issuers. He hails the emerging "flex-firm," a company open to many types of free-form "counterbureaucratic" organization. Toffler credits junk-bond salesman Michael Milken with making finance more competitive and less monopolistic. Assessing the "power triad" of the U.S./Japan/Western Europe, he deems European nations the least stable link, with Germany gaining ascendancy. He looks warily at "Global Gladiators"--drug cartels, Khomeini, multinationals, the Pope--who challenge the boundaries of the nation-state. Toffler's inflated, slogan-slinging probe entertains as it serves up bytes of information and insight, some provocative, some facile.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Following Future Shock ( LJ 7/70) and The Third Wave ( LJ 4/1/80), this final volume of Toffler's trilogy on revolutionary change argues that the control of knowledge has become the principal means to create wealth and power. Aided by the widespread use of computers and other communications technologies, this "powershift," Toffler predicts, will dramatically alter the world's political balance. The superpowers will no longer dominate, since massive military power and control of natural resources will diminish in importance. Access to the latest information will allow developing countries to skip stages of economic growth. On the business level, executives will use knowledge as an instrument to gain control of their companies. Unfortunately, Toffler's thesis suffers from an unclear concept of power, failing to distinguish clearly between influence and the use or threat of force, and some of his claims about the power of knowledge seem exaggerated. The book's best feature is the wide range of information it contains, presented in an easy-to-read style. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 7/90.
- David Gordon, Bowling Green State Univ., Ohio
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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This book I read when it was released and just re-read it.
John G. Jazwiec
Amazing insights .... coupled with relevant interlinking between the socio- eco - political environment ..... makes it an interesting reading.
Avi
The book is still relevant and I find my self quoting it and Mr. Toffler in discussions with friends and family on world affairs.
Robert C. Whitlock

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 4, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Simply, the most comprehensive and clear view of the possible future I have ever experienced. I read the book in 1992 after having it sit on a bookshelf and collecting dust for over a year. I waited too long! This is one of the most powerful studies of the future which we are now experiencing. Many of the phenomena taking place around us are foreshadowed in this comprehensive and easy to read volume by Heidi and Alvin Toffler.
Clearly, they have looked into the future and given us a road map through which to navigate the post cold war information society which has grown like a virus out of control.
From economic boom (unparalleled post world war II economic expansion) to the rise in religious fanaticism and terrorist activity (including domestic terrorism as witnessed by the Federal Building, the World Trade Center and the attacks on numerous women's health clinics)to the acceleration of the information-communications driven economy ( the internet and its impact on wealth creation was no surprise to Powershift readers).
While many of the things that are foretold in this volume have come true, the open ended nature of those things is what makes reading this now so compelling. The advice and knowledge to be gained here is still valid. We are only in the top half of the first inning but the runs are being scored like mad!
This book serves as a great underpinning of understanding of the dynamics of the new world. Read this and you will be fascinated and energized by the possibilities of the future. The reading is easy and the writing is tight enough to give you the basic ideas and to allow your imagination and view of the future take flight.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 7, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Alvin augments our vocabulary with terms like "info-warrior", "eco-spasm", "super-symbolic economy" and "powershift." He examines the relationship between violence, wealth, and knowledge and concludes that an entirely new system of wealth creation is emerging, as well as entirely new approach to information dissemination that places most of our command and control, communications, computing, and intelligence (C4I) investment in the dump heap with the Edsels of the past. He anticipates both the emergence of information wars at all levels, and the demise of bureaucracy. He cautions us about the emerging power of the "Global Gladiators"-religions, corporations, and terrorists (nice little mix) and concludes that in order for nations to maintain their strategic edge, an effective intelligence apparatus will be a necessity and will "boom" in the 21st Century, with the privatization of intelligence being its most prominent break from the past.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Robert C. Whitlock on October 29, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was fortunate enough to have been given this book to read almost 15 years ago. I was unfortunate enough not to have taken full advantage of the information inside it. I basically predicted Walmart's advance using the lowly Barcode, and the current problems that we are experiencing in the middle east due to fundamentalism - not moslem fundamentalism or christian fundamentalism, fundamentalism as a result of our fear of the inevitable pace of change as it increases evermore. The book is still relevant and I find my self quoting it and Mr. Toffler in discussions with friends and family on world affairs.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 19, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Power shift is a fantastic read, if you're trying to make sense of the new world that is slowly (or quickly) beginning to form. It brings to the forefront all the jumbled thoughts and threads that do not seem to make sense, enabling you to see the emerging patterns. It's sometimes scary, but not without hope. As good a read as future shock and The third wave, if not more relevant today.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 6, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
All of Toffler's books are amazing. I can't say enough good things about them. Those who do not like his books are clearly just those types who hate anything that becomes too popular. Someone should explane to them that just because something is well-liked doesn't mean it suddenly lacks value. Toffler has predicted so much that has become true. His great ability to use social science to show us the future is beyond impressive. Future Shock, The Third Wave, and Powershift. Read all three.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By William on February 1, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The text has much to offer. I think Toffler has made some very important points that everyone can find use of in some sense or other. The fundamental criticism I have -- if I must offer one -- is that regardless of Toffler's having been an English major in University, and a pro writer I find his writing style clumsy and near unintelligible. Toffler's writing is difficult to follow, disorganised, and he uses many terms to decorate his views that merely confuse rather than intrigue the reader. If Toffler could learn to write clear and concise prose, he would be twice as popular as he already is. Good read nonetheless...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard Kiene on November 11, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The time has come to realize this is the 'new reality'.A must read for those that wish to understand where WE are going.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Avi on October 18, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Amazing insights .... coupled with relevant interlinking between the socio- eco - political environment ..... makes it an interesting reading. Did someone say its all about paradigm ? Guess YES.
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