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July 1970

A look back at the world in Smithsonian Magazine's first year

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Where Are They Now?

Alvin Toffler
Author of Future Shock

Alvin Toffler remembers July 29, 1970, well. Not only was it his and wife Heidi's 20th wedding anniversary, it was also the day Random House published their book Future Shock. "We had no idea it would be such a success," he says today. "We thought the book would sell 30,000 hardcover copies at best." Future Shock sold more than 5 million paperback copies in the United States alone.

The book chronicles the rapid acceleration of change in society, such as "fractured families," which include temporary marriages. "Things were becoming more short-lived," says Toffler, 76, "not just products, but relationships." The impact of all this change, the Tofflers argued, leads to feelings of stress and disorientation—a.k.a. "future shock."

The couple, who live in California, continue to write and lecture about what's coming our way.

— Mimi Kirk


Prince Charles, 21, and his sister, Princess Anne, 19, make their first visit to the United States July 16. Their itinerary includes a Camp David barbecue and a Washington Senators baseball game. "You know that Prince Charles," President Nixon commented. "He's a nice fellow."


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