Wrote Alvin Toffler, quoted in his NYT obituary.
He wrote some big bestsellers that affected how many people felt about plunging into the future. "Future Shock" (1970). "The Third Wave" (1980).
The NYT is standoffish: "Critics were not sure what to make of Mr. Toffler’s literary style or scholarship. The mechanical engineering scholar and systems theorist Richard W. Longman wrote in The New York Times that Mr. Toffler 'sends flocks of facts and speculation whirling past like birds in a tornado.' In Time magazine, the reviewer R. Z. Sheppard wrote, 'Toffler’s redundant delivery and overheated prose turned kernels of truth into puffed generalities.' Mr. Toffler’s work nevertheless found an eager readership among the general public, on college campuses, in corporate suites and in national governments. Newt Gingrich, the former Republican speaker of the House, met the Tofflers in the 1970s and became close to them. He said 'The Third Wave' had immensely influenced his own thinking and was “one of the great seminal works of our time.' Prime Minister Zhao Ziyang of China convened conferences to discuss 'The Third Wave' in the early 1980s, and in 1985 the book was the No. 2 best seller in China. Only the speeches of the Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping sold more copies."
IN THE COMMENTS: Eric the Fruit Bat said:
I think they might have made "Future Shock" into some kind of an educational film and we watched it when I was in 8th grade science class. All I remember is something about disposability and some little girl throwing her doll into the trash can.Oh? Maybe you can. Here:
Later on I read "Mega Trends," and whatever came after it, and I would go to the library to read some magazine that I think was called "The Futurist." Pretty dull, useless stuff, it turned out.
I really miss the feeling I got back when I was a little kid watching stuff like the 3M TV commercials during Jacques Cousteau. The future seemed like it was going to be wonderful.
But, you know, you can't go home again.