An Invitation to the Futures: A Review of Wendell Bell’s ‘Memories of the Future’

by Gareth Priday

Book Review

Wendell Bell 2011, Memories of the Future, Transaction Publishers, New Jersey

This is an autobiography and a futures story. It illustrates how our past, present and future imaginings influence our choices and actions. It is the story of hope and dreams that linger whether realised or not. It is told through the life story of one of the leading figures in the Futures field and it is told with candour, charm and love. It is an intimate story which not only includes the broad narrative of a life but also shares those special moments which can have such a profound effect on us. This attention to the details of life is part of what makes this book such an interesting read. Life’s ‘wild cards’; the unexpected joys, sorrows, chance encounters and illness are also dealt with as significant actors in life’s trajectory. Future ideals and aspirations are nothing without someone to share them with and in this tale Wendell shows how his success relied on the support of those around him, in particular his wife Lora–Lee. The themes of personal and shared visions of the future are found throughout the book and become more central to the story line in step with Wendell becoming a renowned sociologist and then a founding figure in the Futures community.(continue…)

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