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

4.5 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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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: 4.2 x 1.7 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
After "Future Shock" I was anxious to see how Mr. Toffler would carry forward the account of accelerating change and what we can do differently to anticipate its impact by joining it. As we face this shift which includes monopolization of violence (law and order); sublimation of violence into law; and population's dependence on money I couldn't help wondering whether the next power shift should be ethics. That is stop wasting resources on protection from the ravages of greed and dishonesty. Could we develop a society that has learned how to control the selfish ego while harnessing the ingenuity and initiative that have often been driven by selfish greed? Thank you, Alvin, for opening my mind with deeply researched and very understandably expressed logical theories that summarize the human condition and enabling readers to "see the way forward."
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
At first glance I found this book lacking in a compelling sentence structure and style that the information so clearly deserves. Once I melded with the author's esoteric delivery I was hooked and amazed.

Reading this book in 2016 and seeing how accurate his predictions became whets my appetite for one of his more current books. Thank you Alvin Toffler!
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