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Future Shock

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  2,842 ratings  ·  171 reviews
Examines the effects of rapid industrial and technological changes upon the individual, the family, and society.
Hardcover, First Edition (U.K.), 504 pages
Published January 1st 1970 by The Bodley Head Ltd.
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Well, I think I've read this book. I just looked at my copy and there's no real evidence that it's been read, but the early 70s might have been an era when I didn't much write in my books.

At any rate, the cover of my edition says something about "run-away best seller". And it was, iirc.

It's funny how books about the future are always so popular, even though everyone knows, if they think about it, that no one, including authors of said books, has a crystal ball. And without that little appliance
This book was written 37 years ago, and Toffler's predictions have to a great degree come true. If you've never read Toffler, he's a must. A classic. Here Toffler speaks of a "Future Shock" in which people are not able to adjust to the quickening pace of society due to technological change. There are certain advantages to technology but are humans capable of keeping up emotionally, spiritually? He speaks of an increase in bizzar behavior (I remember reading about bizzar behavior in fiction that ...more
I read this years ago & liked it. It's worth reading again, almost 40 years after it was originally published. It's even more true. 'Future Shock' is based on the term 'Culture Shock' & Toffler's book deals with how the future is coming at us so fast that we're all in a state of shock from dealing with the changes. His writing is excellent, often illustrating large complex ideas with understandable examples, but he doesn't over-simplify nor repeat himself.

He's written several other books
I enjoyed parts of this book. It's difficult for me to get into futurism, because it seems I deviate so often from the trajectories and realities that we live with. I want to believe that we have aspirations collectively that point to more successful futures. But a lot of what is read makes necessary assumptions for its premise- therein lies the problem.

I think this book acts as more of a snapshot into the optimist of the mid to latter 20th century than it does into the future we inhibit. I liv
The book is divided into 6 parts. Part 1 introduces the basic program (death of permanence), Parts 2-4 explain the 3 factors that induce future shock: transience, novelty and diversity and Parts 5-6 bring in future shock and possibly coping strategies. For me, it was initially a very slow read, but for some reason it eventually took off into Part 3, and I found myself sold.

Toffler worries that we are hurtling towards mass feelings of "future shock" (akin to culture shock that travellers get when
Jason DeGroot
Fascinating book! I won't pretend that I'm smart enough to wrap my head around even half the concepts that Toffler brings up, but those that I did understand were pretty mind-blowing. It starts out and ends up a bit dry, but the ideas put forth in this are amazing, and 30 years out it's interesting to see which of his "predictions" have come true, which haven't, and which should have. As someone who's dealt with anxiety and panic attacks most of his life, I also found the discussion of the physi ...more
Read decades ago. Wasn't impressed by Toffler high opinion of himself nor the uniqueness of his "vision" for the future. That said, his theme seemed to be right.

In fact, as a certifiable Old Foogie, I am now experiencing the kind of "shock" he spoke of then: not just with the rapid rate of technological change but the revolution in morals and mores which is now happening.

Of course, the other aspect of this is how shockingly stupid we are about history. Not just ancient history but recent Americ
Sean Meriwether
I cannot believe how much Future Shock is a part of my background. While reading it I remembered direct quotes spoken by my mother and teachers; it was hugely popular in the 70’s. Toffler’s overall thesis is that although technology has helped humankind in gaining more choices and freedom, the acceleration of change is more than the human mind can tolerate. One of the more interesting elements of the theory is the direct correlation between dramatic change (moving, changing jobs, death of a spou ...more
Noura Algwaiz
Alvin Toffler has put a huge amount of work in this book. It is basically about change, and he analyzes it in almost every aspect. The book was written 40 years ago, discussing how change and technological developments are shaping the future and influencing our lives. Toffler received a lot of praise for his highly accurate predictions of the future. Indeed he does deserve the praise, however he deserves even more praise for his analysis of the subject.

He revolves his discussion of change aroun
Full of insightful ideas, many of which are just as relevant now in 2012 as they were when the book was written in the 70’s – some perhaps more so. The main barrier to my enjoyment of the book is that a lot of effort is spent easing the reader into each set of ideas, and in some cases it felt huge chunks of a chapter were devoted to an idea which was concisely dealt with in a few paragraphs. The chapter on mobility, as well as the final chapter were particularly gruelling for me.
Cut away the flu
Al Carlson
This was the beginning of Toffler's trilogy that continued with The Third Wave and PowerShift. In each of them, he looked at the world and said, "This is where we're going, and here's why." He and his wife, Heidi, who co-wrote these, seemed to be able to see about a decade ahead of the rest of us.

His analysis and predictions in the first two books--published in the 70's and 80's--seem mundane now. His third title in this group--published in 1990--still has some ideas that haven't manifested yet.
The author is a little long-winded, but this book is unintentionally hilarious at times. It was social commentary written in 1970 about how quickly society and people's lives are changing. He makes some interesting points about how temporary our relationships are becoming and how technology is facing us with an overwhelming amount of options. But my favorite parts are when he starts making predictions about the future. By the year 2000, half the population will live in underwater communities! We ...more
One of the best books I’ve read recently. I remember reading this as a 18/19 year old but this made a lot more sense to me now. Its about the future and the change of pace we are experiencing. Like a faster delivery from a fast bowler if were not carefully were gonna get caught out. The book discusses so many different things but the essence of the book is around how we need to manage the change around is rather than letting it happen willy-nilly. If you’re read Musil’s “man without qualities” – ...more
Brad Acker
Alvin Toffler is by far the most prescient author i have read; his bold predictions in this book, written 4 decades ago, are largely manifesting themselves today
This book proposes a warning of impending social decay caused by a condition the author calls "Future Shock". In the first 2/3rds of the book, he spends a great deal of time explaining the elements contributing to Future Shock, namely "transience" and the "accelerative thrust". Toffler's explanations are very detailed; he starts with how these ideas apply to ourselves, psychologically, to the economy, to society at large, etc. Indeed, it seems very hard to contest his view of the world, though i ...more
Accurate picture of cultural forces clashing in the 21st century where the information age brings about changes that those who are for accelerating into the technological era embrace while those who yearn for old days where things were seen as rosy, they reject the movement of this new era.

But colorful lenses deceive as the old farm days were filled with sickness without good medical care, harsh environmental forces coming into play and people being left to the mercy of storm, rain and drought.
I've read the first 40 pages, then quit.

The ideas in those 40 pages could have been expressed in three paragraphs --if they were worth being expressed.

Toffler describes the properties and consequences of the worst illness of our time: the future shock. In our time, live changes so fast that we no longer know how to act; to quote the author:

We no longer "feel" life as men did in the past. And this is the ultimate difference, the distinction that separates the truly contemporary man from all othe
2 stars in the middle (3 for humor) and 4 at the end for inspiring critical thought (and championing the importance of speculative fiction).

Excerpts from my blogpost on the book: "I spent two years off and on trying to read this book. It was published in 1970. Sure, it's a bit dated, but it has some fun aspects. The beginning and middle of the book are interesting from an anthropological standpoint - watching what the author got right about society today and what he got horribly wrong. More pers
John Frederick
It's always fun to go back to the future, and futurist, Alvin Toffler, has offered suggestion and insights that are dead on, or still of concern in forty years from when the book was originally published. It's amazing how a lot of the concerns and ideas are still relevant today. This is a quick read, however, I have too much read, so have been taking my time. Heavily influenced by Buckminster Fuller, and Toffler does seem to repeat himself often with out saying much in certain subparts of his ch ...more
khashayar XerXes
U must read this b4 having or telling or discussing any Opinion about anything around your world!
it gives u a glass to see!

best sociology book ever!
if u r by any chance a part of the world between 1960-2060
u Have 2 read these aalvin tofler series!

1970...future shock
smthing is gonna change,it will change in the fastest way it could!
here he discuss the effect that the rate may cause,& leave
the tehem of the "change" 4 his next book to discuss!

1980...third wave
he define us the chaneg we
Dec 29, 2013 Ania rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: forward thinkers
A really interesting book written in the 1960s and published in 1970. I can't help but feel that the moon landing of 1969 somehow inspired this book.

I really enjoyed this work, even if it was a bit depressing. In a nutshell what this book says is that we can expect from the future a more modular, segmented life, this includes personal lives as well. I've only taken off one star because I feel some of the adaptation strategies towards the future may be kind of lacking, but for a tough book judge
Chandrashekar BC
Feb 03, 2015 Chandrashekar BC rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chandrashekar by: Just encountered this book in Blossom Book store.
One amazing ride from history ( civilization) to future!!! To get a broad and deeper view about family, relationshipd, education, technology, politics, psychology, biology, inventions, life must read this book and ofcourse to get a glimpse of future . One hell of a read about "CHANGE" .
Jerome Peterson
This is one of those books that is a must read. I'm sure you have read this before in reviews, but this is an exceptional book. Though it lacks suspense, romance, and those other aspects we are so fond of it fiction work this book takes up the slack with its insightful facts of cultural change. This book, as well as the title, which became a household phrase, is more profound now than in the late sixties. I must read for every human being especially those that pride themselves on there social pr ...more
Jul 03, 2008 Maureen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maureen by: e
Shelves: non-fiction
Have you ever looked around at your environment and had the sensation of being in a Blade Runner movie? If so, you have experienced future shock. I have to give Toffler credit: he has continued to make predictions about the trends that this society may face in the future. Even when he is not right, it is still interesting reading. As we continue to make the transition from the printed page into the digital age, there is something to be said for speculation about both our present and future direc ...more
Lauren Brackenbury
Very much enjoyed Toffler's Future Shock, especially the second half.

The first part of the book explains at somewhat tedious length the titular psychological condition (the complete breakdown of adaptive functioning Toffler asserts is caused by overwhelming levels of change and novelty), which Toffler argues will become epidemic as society continues to change at an increasing pace. Although the quaintly-phrased doom and gloom is a bit tiresome, I agree with his overall theory, that there may be
Rishita Mall
I find myself incapable of rating this book.... one because I've not read the entire novel.. its ":o"...... trust me u'ill have that expression on your face throughout while reading this book.... after reading the review of 1984.. i feel its quite on the same lines... so the ones who like this kinda work can go for it.... not everybody can read such a book till THE END!!!!
Abner Rosenweig
Hard to believe this was written 45 years ago. It was phenomenally prescient, and it still feels representative of the modern era and well-positioned to predict the future. Toffler's premise that the accelerating rate of social change (including ever-greater transcience, novelty, and diversity) is outpacing man's ability to cope comes with a dour imperative: adapt or die.

We, as individuals and as a civilization, need to understand "the accelerative thrust triggered by man has become the key to t
цікаво ловити себе на думці, що деякі з озвучених автором сорок літ тому речей ніби таки "відбулися" сьогодні. водночас розумієш, що це чимось нагадує механізм самовиправдання, або пояснення постфактум якихось речей, які, щойно трапившись, здавались незрозумілими, або ж якесь асоціативне пов'язування речей споріднених. так, нині суспільство можна назвати "мережевим" і, безумовно, як і передбачав Тоффлер, це накладає чіткий відбиток і на поведінку людей, і на стилі спілкування. однак як не крути, ...more
Patrick Matte
Ce livre est un voyage parce qu'il est colossal et qu'il demande une bonne concentration. Mais il a provoqué en moi une prise de conscience, il m'a permis de voir plus clair et de percer le mystère du rythme frénétique de la vie d'aujourd'hui. Écrit dans les années 60, Alvin Toffler voyait déjà clair dans ce qui était à ce moment un futur à moyen terme et qui est aujourd'hui notre réalité. Au début, il explique pourquoi on a l'impression que tout s'accélère et pourquoi on est parfois dépassé par ...more
When I read this book for the first time as a student in the 70s I was overwhelmed by the changes he described - accelarated now by the Climate Change (see Copenhagen 2009, Nagoya 2010 etc - d.48) ... It follows some of the underlined sentences and notes by me: "Strange new subcultures and life styles are investigated (see "love parade", Duisburg 2010 etc - d.48)... William Ogburn, with his celebrated theory of cultural lag, pointed out how social stress arise out of uneven rates of change in di ...more
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is an American writer and futurist, known for his works discussing the digital revolution, communications revolution, corporate revolution and technological singularity. A former associate editor of Fortune magazine, his early work focused on technology and its impact (through effects like information overload.

Accenture, the management consultancy, has dubbed him the third most influential voice a
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“To survive, to avert what we have termed future shock, the individual must become infinitely more adaptable and capable than ever before. We must search out totally new ways to anchor ourselves, for all the old roots - religion, nation, community, family, or profession - are now shaking under the hurricane impact of the accelerative thrust. It is no longer resources that limit decisions, it is the decision that makes the resources.” 28 likes
“Science fiction is held in low regard as a branch of literature, and perhaps it deserves this critical contempt. But if we view it as a kind of sociology of the future, rather than as literature, science fiction has immense value as a mind-stretching force for the creation of the habit of anticipation. Our children should be studying Arthur C. Clarke, William Tenn, Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury and Robert Sheckley, not because these writers can tell them about rocket ships and time machines but, more important, because they can lead young minds through an imaginative exploration of the jungle of political, social, psychological, and ethical issues that will confront these children as adults.” 24 likes
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