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The Third Wave Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 1984


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (May 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553246984
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553246988
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I 've read these books 3 times.
Amazon Customer
The details and depth of research in this book are staggering.
Kevin Frey
Read this book with an open mind.
Cline Clark

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 7, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I decided to reread this book after 20 years to see how accurately it represented the experiences of the past 20 years. How nice a surprise I received when I found that the broad themes were beautifully portrayed against the background of the prior agricultural and industrial economies. This long term perspective made the articulation of the future vision clearer.
Particularly impressive in retrospect is the description of a forecast for mass customized products. The customer "will become so integrated into the production process that we find it . . . difficult to tell . . . who is the producer." One might be reading about someone ordering a computer on the Dell Web site.
Almost equally impressive is the appreciation of how electronic connections will establish horizontal connections. "Even a partial shift towards the electronic office will be enough to trigger an eruption of social, psychological, and economic consequences." "It promises to restructure all human relationships and roles in the office as well."
Key insights related to:
(1) Companies needing to take on full responsibility for the consequences of their actions on society and the environment;
(2) Companies becoming much more important social institutions of change;
(3) Information moving to the center of major decisions;
(4) Government spreading its influence so that business and politics become inextricably entwined; and
(5) Institutional ethics coming to more closely reflect social ethics.
In fact, this is the first book I have located that sees the business organization as the critical institution in making ecological, moral, political, racial, sexual and social change, as well as the usual transactional ones.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 20, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book attempts to explain the both the nature and the process of the technological revolution that has transformed the world's social and economic systems. To quote Newt Gingrich, US Speaker of the House of Representatives, "Alvin and Heidi Toffler have given us the key to viewing current disarray within the positive framework of a dynamic, exciting future... The Tofflers correctly understand the development and distribution of information that has become the central productivity and power activity of the human race.... In the Third Wave, the Tofflers moved from observation (found in earlier works such as Future Shock) to creating a predictive framework They placed the information revolution (from circa 1990) in an historical perspective, comparing it with the other two great transformations, the agricultural revolution (beginning 8000 B.C thru around 1700) the industrial revolution (beginning around 1700 and still spreading across world society in an ever slower movement) . According to the Tofflers, we are feeling the impact of the third great wave of change in history, and we are, as a result, in the process of creating a new civilization." (Preface to Toffler's Creating a New Civilization)
It is the collision of these concentric waves, and the turbulence created by the interaction of these waves, ie the resistance of industrial-based organizations to information-based systems, that accounts, in their view, for much of the seeming social, political and economic disorder. In short, this book seeks to postulate a paradigm that explains the entire scope of the Information Revolution. It succeeds in this goal as perhaps no other book written to date. For this reviewer, The Third Wave is as thought- provoking as we approach the year 2000 as the book The Greening of America was in the 1970s.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Morelock on October 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are looking for descriptions of large-scale shifts in world economies and cultures, this book has it. Toffler was so far ahead in his thinking and in his grasp of the changing world order that it's staggering. Thirty years later and many of the concepts he outlined are just now taking shape.

There is a "quotable" in every single paragraph. Read it.
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAME on March 7, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Perhaps the reason that Alvin Toffler's classic book feels so relevant some 25 years after its initial publication is the fact that he wrote it in a time which, in retrospect, was not so different from our own: The world was trembling before the threat of terrorism embodied, in Toffler's age, by Iranian terrorists, and radical new technologies, in the form of powerful and increasingly affordable computers, were drastically altering business and society. But probably, the book resonates simply because he was right about almost everything. For that reason, we from getAbstract recommend this book as a basic requirement for any professional.
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 15, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The book was published in the the early 1980's. The situations and examples given by Toffoler , though excellent, cannot be well appreciated by us as they seem out of palce in current times. However we must give Tofler his due for his predictions of the future. Even back in the 1980's ,when he wrote the book, he has rightly predicted the break up the USSR and emergence of the 'EURO'. I would'nt recommend this book as a "must read", but anyone with a literary interest and the patience must invest in this book.
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