Ecology of Fear by Mike Davis
Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster

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Synopsis

From the author of City of Quartz, a startling new view of Los Angeles, the disaster capital of the world--and what it has to tell us about America at the millennium.

Los Angeles has become a magnet for the American apocalyptic imagination. Riot, fire, flood, earthquake . . . only locusts are missing from the almost biblical list of disasters that has struck the city in the l990s. And the force of real catastrophe has been redoubled by the obsessive fictional destruction of Los Angeles--by aliens, comets, and twisters--in scores of novels and films. The former "Land of Sunshine" is now seen by much of the world, including many of L.A.'s increasingly nervous residents, as a veritable Book of the Apocalypse theme park.

In this extraordinary book, Mike Davis unravels the secret political history of disaster, real and imaginary, in southern California. As he surveys the earthquakes of Santa Monica, the burning of Koreatown, and the invasion of "man-eating" mountain lions, he exposes the deep complicity between social injustice and perceptions of natural disorder. Los Angeles, Davis argues, has deliberately put itself in harm's way. And he shows that the floods, fires, and earthquakes that the city has reaped were tragedies as avoidable--and unnatural--as the beating of Rodney King and the ensuing explosion in the streets.

Rich with detail, bold and original, Ecology of Fear is a gripping reconnaissance into the urban future from our most provocative interpreter of the American metropolis.

 

About Mike Davis

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Mike Davis is the author of "City of Quartz, Magical Urbanism," and, most recently, "Dead Cities," and co-author of "Under the Perfect Sun: The San Diego Tourists Never See," A MacArthur Fellow, he lives in San Diego.
 
Published January 14, 2014 by Metropolitan Books. 496 pages
Genres: History, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Davis chillingly details how the vast infrastructure built to service the suburban sprawl was based on a disaster record of only the last 50 years, how “feedback loops” in the delicate ecosystem multiply the potential for disaster, and how narrowly L.A.

Aug 01 1999 | Read Full Review of Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles ...

Publishers Weekly

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I'm not summoning Armageddon, affirms Davis, a social historian and urban theorist whose 1990 NBCC-nominated, dystopian history of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, City of Quartz, is now a cult

Aug 03 1998 | Read Full Review of Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles ...

The Guardian

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Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster Mike Davis pp484 , Verso £7.99 Buy it at BOL 'California is the land of the fruits and the nuts' - an old East Coast saying.

Aug 06 2000 | Read Full Review of Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles ...

Publishers Weekly

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I'm not summoning Armageddon, affirms Davis, a social historian and urban theorist whose 1990 NBCC-nominated, dystopian history of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, City of Quartz, is now a cult

Aug 03 1998 | Read Full Review of Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles ...

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