The Shape of Tomorrow by George Soule
I picked up Shape of Tomorrow, its 35 cent price imbued proudly on the front cover, on a foray to Powell’s books in Portland.
In 1958, the birth control pill wasn’t yet past clinical trials and TV watching hadn’t yet become the dominant American hobby. What a time to be alive!
Soule takes care not to speculate too wildly, hedging often, but many predictions are still downright comical. America’s increase in productivity is going to reduce inequality. The work week is on the brink of shortening to twenty four hours. Cool stories abound.
This was not a great read by any stretch. However, it is mercifully short. Safely skip the first half of the book, which excitedly enumerates unexciting innovations of the day. That said, if you’re looking for a time capsule into the technocratic mind of the 1950s, George Soule might just be the retro-futurist you are looking for.