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Future Shock

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  4,239 ratings  ·  307 reviews
Examines the effects of rapid industrial and technological changes upon the individual, the family, and society.
Mass Market Paperback, 430 pages
Published 1971 by Bantam Books (first published 1970)
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Norris Fanning It is about the agency of change, not predictions.

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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  4,239 ratings  ·  307 reviews

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Jan 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is still in print!

To me, that's pretty amazing. It seems that many readers would rather look at someone's views about our "now" or "near now, plus or minus", written four decades ago, than opening their eyes and looking for themselves.

If I still had the book, I might be tempted to see what these old views of our "now" could have been that seem so ... prescient?

But I don't have it, got rid of it to make shelf space.

I admit that I only think I ever read the book. Someone below left an
Jun 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: social
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
Jul 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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, at lea
Sean Meriwether
Aug 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Oct 02, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Dec 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Noura Algwaiz
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
The synopsis of this book is quite enticing to the curious reader who hopes to be enlightened by some radical thoughts, perhaps about mankind's future and how he can be better prepared for it.
And hence, I picked this book.

But then, all I got to read was 400 odd pages of rant about how bad it is for mankind to be subject to the cruelty of changing times. The atrocities inflicted by industrialization, technological revolution, shortening time and spaces, greater mobility of humans enabled by bet
Jason DeGroot
Dec 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Brad Acker
May 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
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 other
Jun 08, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Chandrashekar BC
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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" .
Abhijeet Lele
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the best book by one of the best author.
Sep 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: conviction

Students in Berlin and New York, in Turin and Tokyo, capture their deans and chancellors, bring great clanking education factories to a grinding halt, and even threaten to topple governments. Police stand aside in the ghettos of New York, Washington and Chicago as ancient property laws are openly violated. Sexual standards are overthrown. Great cities are paralyzed by strikes, power failures, riots.

This is an amazing book; amazing both because of how clearly he showed the failure of bureaucracy
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Simeon Mihaylov
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First the good:
- Very interesting book, which makes you think about a lot of things. It gives you insane amount of awakening about the future, although the book was written way back in the day.
- A lot of the predictions were accurate enough
- The Author has interesting style and I would even say unique. Sometimes it might be considered way too repetitive, but since his ideas are often uncommon, I would say that it might be necessary.
The bad:
Towards the end of the book he is way too utopic. As we
Dec 21, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It took me three years to get around to finishing this book. It's a pretty painful read. Toffler has a bad habit of creating at least one neologism in each chapter. In my opinion, resorting to neologisms is just a failure to analyze your own arguments. Neologisms are a cheap way out.

Also, Toffler fills each chapter with paragraph after paragraph of case study and academic quotation. Then at the end of the chapter he sums it up with some kind of statement to the effect of "obviously this must be
Al Carlson
Jun 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: future-think
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.
Margaret Lozano
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: future
I read this book many decades after its first printing, so many of Toffler's predictions had fallen flat. But I was still inspired by the overall theme, and captivated by the idea of futurism more generally. For that reason, I'll always have a special appreciation for this book.
Ramzauva Chhakchhuak
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was written in 197o and here I am in 2018 living through many of the things the author discusses in the book. Prophetic to say the least.
t.s. esque
Oct 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: theory, audiobook

"Future Shock is about the present."

PHEW! Okay. 600 pages of hypothetical science fiction musings on the future published in 1970 by two "futurists" (Alvin & Heidi Toffler). It is many things; in part, you guessed it, a little problematic if we are to isolate all the parts that suggest things that would never happen or cast fear over the still unknown. There is a pinch of phobia in their considerations towards the future of LGBTQ+ individuals, f
Terra Wolski
May 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
Neat to read what they thought it would be like in the future.. especially since almost 50 years later. Lots of work and research went into this book! Some ideas are a little farfetched and didn't come to pass (paper clothes and underwater communities??)
Read as part of a reading challenge - "A Book Published a decade before you were born"
May 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like that book

Change could be good and could let you great or worse
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
May 02, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 05, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book does offer some insights into the nature of change and the possible effects and outcomes, it suffers from a lack of data and breath of understand. This creates large assumptions from not enough sources leading to incorrect assessments. The authors breathy pronouncements, fail to realize a fundamental truth. The future will probably be about like the present but a little different. The author sees technological change creating rapped social change and more dynamism. He overstates this p ...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 r fa
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Alvin Toffler was 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 infl

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“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.” 56 likes
“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.” 56 likes
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