THE AGE OF DISCONTINUITY by Peter F. Drucker

THE AGE OF DISCONTINUITY

Guidelines To Our Changing Society
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The humanist view of the world which always held to some fundamental truth about experience, whether objective or subjective, has for a long while now been on the defensive. Thus even Auden's popular "age of anxiety" seems too personal or existential a description of the times, and perhaps we must make way for a new catchall, "the age of discontinuity," for instance, no doubt especially winning because of its echo of Heisenberg, indeterminacy, scientific experimentation, and so forth. In his latest work, Drucker, an old hand at futurology, neatly mixing worrisome statistics, problematic forecasts, and journalistic uplift, discusses the forthcoming impact of the knowledge industries, "world economy," pluralist organizations, and "the knowledge society"--what he considers to be, in short, the major trouble spots and/or fruitful issues of discontinuity. His main contention, simply, is that the fifty years before World War I produced the old technology, on which we have been coasting, and that we are now entering a new technological phase, the computer being its first manifestation, with no clear developmental line in sight, but lots of leaps and gaps and conflicting stages of economic growth. Thus there is the great problem of the rich and poor nations (how to avert racial war and bring the East up to Western standards): the McLuhan idea of "global village" and electronic media resulting, hopefully, in one market; and the modes of organization (not big government) and knowledge best suited to the new challenges. Drucker is always interesting, valuable and provocative in his rather Business Week way, but what he points to (hails?) is really a managerial technocracy.
Pub Date: Jan. 29th, 1968
ISBN: 1560006188
Page count: 436pp
Publisher: Harper & Row
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1968




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