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The Fortune Sellers


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Table of Contents

The Second Oldest Profession. When Chaos Rains. The Dismal Scientists. The Market Gurus. Checking the "Unchecked Population". Science Fact and Fiction. The Futurists. Corporate Chaos. The Certainty of Living in an Uncertain World. Notes. Bibliography. Index.

About the Author

WILLIAM A. SHERDEN is a consultant to international corporations such as AT&T, Citicorp, and Dunn & Bradstreet and a recognized expert on business forecasting. He is the author of the book Market Ownership, as well as more than 25 articles for top academic and business publications. He lives in Boston with his wife and two children.


Sherden, a business consultant, explores seven of the major fields involving prediction‘meteorology, economics, investments, technology assessment, demography, futurology, and organizational planning. He describes each field, examines its track record, and concludes that none can make accurate forecasts. Meteorology at least, he says, has a sound scientific basis, though it may never be able to make accurate, long-term predictions because of the chaotic nature of weather. The author says the impediment for the other fields is that they must deal with complex systems involving too many variables to devise workable laws on which to base predictions. He writes in a very readable academic style and documents his sources, while providing numerous charts and examples. Highly recommended for all academic and public libraries as both an overview of the seven fields covered and a palliative to the many popular works that purport to be able to predict the future.‘Lawrence Maxted, Gannon Univ., Erie, Pa.

All in all, The Fortune Sellers is a very interesting and valuable book - well-written, well-documented, with an abundance of graphical illustrations and an extensive bibliography for those who wish to pursue the subject further.-Knight-Ridder News Service

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