Future Shock author Toffler dies

Future Shock author Toffler dies

Amercian writer and futurist Alvin Toffler, the celebrated author of prophetic 1970 bestseller Future Shock (Bantam), has died, aged 87.

Toffler, a former newspaper editor whose trilogy of books anticipated the effects of technological change on society, died at his home in Bel Air, Los Angeles, late on Monday (26th June) in his sleep. The news was confirmed by Yvonne Merkel, a spokeswoman for his Reston, Virginia-based consulting firm Toffler Associates yesterday (29th June).

Toffler predicted the disconnection of the modern world and is credited in coining the term "information overload”. He also foresaw the emergence of a new knowledge-based economy, characterised by an accelerated pace of life, where the majority of human labour was devoid to services.

The origins of his book Future Shock, which sold 6m copies internationally after being published by Random House in 1970, stemmed from a magazine article in 1965, called "The Future as a Way of Life”. He subsequently wrote The Third Wave in 1980 and Powershift in 1990, and went on to lecture and advise business leaders. He founded Toffler Associates in 1996.

According to the LA Times, Toffler was a critic of the European Union, remarking in an interview with the Guardian in the late 1990s that its problem was it “still believes bigger is better”.

Toffler was born on 4th October 1928 to Jewish Polish immigrants in New York City. He is survived by his wife Heidi, with whom he co-wrote many of his books.