Alvin Toffler

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Alvin Toffler (2006)

Alvin Toffler (born October 4, 1928 in New York City , † June 27, 2016 in Los Angeles ) was an American futurologist . He was known for his work on the digital revolution , the technological singularity and the communication revolution .


Growing up in Brooklyn as a child of Polish Jews, Toffler studied literature at NYU, where he met his wife. After graduating in 1950, they moved to the Midwest and were married by a justice of the peace in Cleveland . Both worked on the assembly line to be able to write about it with first-hand experience. After the birth of their only child in 1954, Toffler found employment with a specialist welding magazine and then for a union newspaper that took him to Washington in 1957, from where he reported on labor market issues. In 1959, the Tofflers returned to New York after applying to Fortune magazine. His early works dealt with technology and their consequences (through effects like " information overload ", English information overload ). Then he dealt with the reactions and changes in society . His later work dealt with the increasing strength of military technology in the 21st century .

He was married to Heidi Toffler , who is also a writer and futurologist. Many of the books that appeared under the name Alvin Toffler were written by both of them. The couple had a daughter (* 1954, † 2004).

Alvin Toffler died at home in Los Angeles on June 27, 2016 at the age of 87.


In addition to his influence as a publicist, Alvin Toffler was an advisor to authorities and governments around the world. It was particularly popular in Asian countries.

His books Future Shock and The Third Wave served as major inspiration for Detroit techno musicians Derrick May , Kevin Saunderson and Juan Atkins . With the help of their music, they implemented the loosely formulated idea of ​​Toffler's so-called Techno Rebel . The album Future Shock by Herbie Hancock is named after the book.

"The Third Wave" inspired a number of cyberpunk writers , most notably John Shirley , Bruce Sterling and William Gibson . Sterling described Toffler's work as "a bible to many cyberpunks".


  • The Culture Consumers: A controversial study of art and affluence in America , 1964, St. Martin's Press, ISBN 1199154814
  • The Schoolhouse in the City , 1968, Praeger
  • Future Shock , 1970, German: The future shock . Strategies for the world of tomorrow . Goldmann Sachbuch 11364 ISBN 3-442-11364-4
  • The Eco-Spasm Report , 1975, German: The limits of the crisis
  • The Third Wave , 1980, German: The third wave. Future opportunity. Perspectives for the Society of the 21st Century 1983 ISBN 3-442-11350-4
  • Previews and Premisses , 1983
  • Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth and Violence at the Edge of the 21st Century , 1990, German: Machtbeben ISBN 3-430-19117-3
  • War and Anti-War , 1993, German: Survival in the 21st Century
  • Creating a new civilization: the politics of the Third Wave , 1995
  • Revolutionary Wealth , 2006

Web links

Individual evidence

  2. ^ New York Times - Karen Toffler's death notice (July 11, 2000)
  3. Bruce Sterling: Preface , in: Mirrorshades (1986/88), p. Xii. See: Jiré Emine Gözen: Cyberpunk Science Fiction (2012), p. 75.