Toffler has been the best known and most influential exponent of the new trade of Futurology. He was trained as a journalist, and Future Shock (published 1970) was his first book. It sold by the million. Toffler was highly influenced by science fiction writers, and in turn his vision of a society in the grips of an uncontrollable and accelerating plunge into the future was an influence on much science fiction of the 1970s. His later The Third Wave (1980) suggested that a new society structured around information technology was poised to usher in a new and happier society based on a looser and more diverse social structure.
Toffler's views have been increasingly influential in the realm of politics and business. Since becoming famous, Toffler and his wife have been able to build a career as gurus, delivering expensive lectures to corporations and hobnobbing with world leaders. In the early 1990s he won new celebrity as a mentor to self-proclaimed Republican Revolutionary Newt Gingrich (he was associated with Gingrich's Progress and Freedom Foundation and had known Gingrich back in his "history professor" days of the early 1970s). They shared a belief in the evils of strong government, the revolutionary power of "cyberspace" in public life, and the need to reshape government in response to the demands of an information-centric future.
We are reading chapters 2, 16 and 20.
Page created by Thomas Haigh. Last edited 01/12/2002.