Alvin Toffler, Author of ‘Future Shock,’ Dies at 87

Mr. Toffler popularized the phrase “information overload.” His warnings could be bleak, cautioning that people and institutions that failed to keep pace with change would face ruin. But he was generally optimistic. He was among the first authors to recognize that knowledge, not labor and raw materials, would become the most important economic resource of advanced societies.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


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