Form and Content

Based on extensive research and years of preparation, Alvin Toffler’s massive Future Shock argues that the world is undergoing a fundamental transformation from agricultural and industrial societies to a new, “superindustrial” society driven by high technology, service industries, and rapid change in all areas of life, with potentially ruinous effects on its citizens. Toffler conveys his information and conclusions in an accessible writing style for general readers, while lengthy notes and a bibliography at the end of the book identify his numerous sources and list resources for further research. The book is carefully organized, with a short introduction preceding twenty chapters grouped into six parts; each chapter is further divided into sections, all listed in the table of contents. A typical section will begin with an interesting anecdote; then provide some general observations, results of scientific research, or statistics; briefly quote one or more experts in the field; and offer a few speculations about future developments before moving on to the next subject.

According to the three chapters of part 1, “The Death of Permanence,” earlier human societies were characterized by a sense of stability in all aspects of life, including place of residence, work, family, and social norms. Such permanence is now impossible in a technologically advanced society of ever-increasing and ever-accelerating change. Modern human life will instead...

(The entire section is 472 words.)