‘Future Shock’ by Alvin Toffler


'Future Shock' by Alvin Toffler


The illiterate of the future will not be the person who cannot read. It will be the person who does not know how to learn.

Alvin Toffler



About the Book

Future Shock is a 1970 book by American futurist Alvin Toffler, it is a classic that changed our view of tomorrow. Its startling insights into accelerating change led a president to ask his advisers for a special report, inspired composers to write symphonies and rock music, gave a powerful new concept to social science, and added a phrase to our language.

Published in over fifty countries, Future Shock is the most important study of change and adaptation in our time. The book, which became an international bestseller, has sold over 6 million copies and has been widely translated.


Alvin Toffler, the Author

Alvin Toffler

Alvin Toffler (1928-2016) was a leading futurist and one of the world’s best-known social thinkers. Other than Future Shock, his other works are The Third Wave, Previews and Premises, and The Adaptive Corporation. His many honours include The Mckinsey Foundation Book Award, China’s Golden Key Award, and the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger.


So why one must read Future Shock?

Future Shock was recommended to me by my boss who is an avid reader, and I would say it was a pleasant surprise to me to find such a thorough study of future trends, especially when the book was released in 1970, and almost all its forecasts for tomorrow's world are coming true.

What I found interesting is that whatever Alvin Toffler has predicted is not like Nostradamus's predictions based on some divine power, but it is thorough research done in consultation with professors of various universities.

Futurist Alvin Toffler said, “Change is not merely necessary to life — it is life.” This is truer today than ever before. The rate of change is constantly accelerating, and all organizations are faced with a choice: keep pace or die.

Future Shock is a book about what happens to people when they are overwhelmed by change. It's about how we adapt – or fail to adapt – to the future.

The book basically deals with the ‘Soft’ or human side of tomorrow, the steps by which we will reach tomorrow. The book talks about the roaring current of change, a current so powerful today that it overturns institutions, shifts our values and shrivels our roots, the change invades our lives, and our patterns of friendship and love. 

Toffler emphasizes the urge to think about the future and to think differently. People, governments, educationalists, businesses, societies, parents .. tend to face new problems with old mentalities. He argues that bureaucracy is slowly being replaced with adhocracy, standardization with customization, and the individual is losing his attachment to his organization and replacing it with an attachment to his profession. One of the most intriguing perspectives was how people's values change as they cope with change.

Toffler concludes the book with strategies for survival. 

The book is an extensively researched piece of work, it's rare to come across such a work of research. The author has touched every part of human life, organization, and society. What is good about the book is, you can pick up any chapter and read through it, each chapter is an independent read, and leaves you with a new perspective on the subject.

Many of the trends he projected have come true, whether it is about the nomad lifestyle, modular man, the adhocracy in the organization, knowledge, the experience makers, the receding readership, visual media, fractured family, adaptability to change etc

Future Shock is one book which will intrigue, provoke, frighten, encourage, and, above all, change everyone who reads it. A must-read for everyone, and  I would recommend it to all authors especially, to understand how thorough research must be done before putting forward an idea or a thought.


Rakhi Sunil Kumar





  • Rakhi Sunil Kumar

    Rakhi Sunil Kumar has published three fictions – ‘Dancing Mirrors’, ‘Bougainvillea Anywhere Everywhere’ and ‘Songs of Water’. She has worked in IT for 30 Years, and now pursuing her interest in Creative Writing!

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