Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the US City

Overview

Will California soon hold the balance of power in Mexican national politics? Will Latinos reinvigorate the U.S. labor movement? These are some of the provocative questions that Mike Davis explores in this fascinating account of the Latinization of the American urban landscape.

As he forcefully shows, this is a demographic and cultural revolution with extraordinary implications. With Spanish-surnames increasing five times faster than the general population, salsa is becoming the ...

See more details below
Paperback (REVISED & EXPANDED)
$14.95
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (16) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $9.16   
  • Used (11) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

Will California soon hold the balance of power in Mexican national politics? Will Latinos reinvigorate the U.S. labor movement? These are some of the provocative questions that Mike Davis explores in this fascinating account of the Latinization of the American urban landscape.

As he forcefully shows, this is a demographic and cultural revolution with extraordinary implications. With Spanish-surnames increasing five times faster than the general population, salsa is becoming the predominant ethnic rhythm (and flavor) of contemporary city life. In Los Angeles, Houston, San Antonio, and (shortly) Dallas, Latinos outnumber non-Hispanic whites; in New York, San Diego and Phoenix, they outnumber blacks. According to the Bureau of the Census, Latinos will supply fully two thirds of the nation's population growth between now and the middle of the 21st century when nearly 100 million Americans will boast Latin American ancestry.

Davis focuses on the great drama of how Latinos are attempting to translate their urban demographic ascendancy into effective social power. Pundits are now unanimous that Spanish-surname voters are the sleeping giant of US politics. Though the overall vote in the 1996 elections declined significantly, the Latino share rose by a spectacular 16%. Yet electoral mobilization alone is unlikely to redress the increasing income and opportunity gaps between urban Latinos and suburban non-Hispanic whites. Thus in Los Angeles and elsewhere, the militant struggles of Latino workers and students are reinventing the American left. Magical Urbanism is essential reading for anyone who wants to grasp the future of urban America.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Bookforum
Fans of Mike Davis's slash-an-burn prose and take-no-prisoners credo will not be disappointed ... His new book about citified Latinos serves up more helpings of the elegant muckraking that thrilled the readers of City of Quartz and Ecology of Fear.

— Andrew Ross

In These Times
Ricky Martin, Sammy Sosa, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera—something is happening to American popular culture. Mike Davis pulls together the startling facts, identifies the underlying trends and ... brings his characteristic energy, eye for detail and exhaustive research to bear on an important phenomenon that remains mostly unexplored.

— Jon Wiener

San Francisco Bay Guardian

A non-romantic, optimistic view of the role Latinos will play in revitalizing dead urban areas and a dying American Left.

Washington Post Book World

This well-researched, well-written book is driven by powerful feelings of indignation at the hardships Latinos are suffering in the United States today.

Andrew Ross - Bookforum
“Fans of Mike Davis's slash-and-burn prose and take-no-prisoners credo will not be disappointed ... His new book about citified Latinos serves up more helpings of the elegant muckraking that thrilled the readers of City of Quartz and Ecology of Fear.”
Jon Wiener - In These Times

Ricky Martin, Sammy Sosa, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera—something is happening to American popular culture. Mike Davis pulls together the startling facts, identifies the underlying trends and ... brings his characteristic energy, eye for detail and exhaustive research to bear on an important phenomenon that remains mostly unexplored.

Helen Silvis
[A]n important book about an ignored topic.
Willamette Week
Angela Garbes
A truly intelligent, interesting, and timely book.
Bookselling This Week
Susan Faludi
A rare combination of an author, Rachael Carson and Upton Sinclair all in one.
Andrew Ross
Fans of Mike Davis's slash-and-burn prose and take-no-prisoners credo will not be disappointed by Magical Urbanism. —Bookforum
Times Literary Supplement
[A] lively, trenchant inquiry into a demographic phenomenon of great importance.
Santa Fe New Mexican
Workers of the world, eat your carne asada, then smash the state!
Washington Post Book World
This well-researched, well-written book is driven by powerful feelings of indignation at the hardships Latinos are suffering.
In These Times
Davis brings his characteristic analytical energy, eye for detail and exhaustive research to bear on an important phenomenon.
Helen Silvis
[A]n important book about an ignored topic. —Willamette Week
Angela Garbes
A truly intelligent, interesting, and timely book. —Bookselling This Week
Library Journal
Around 1996, Latinos surpassed African Americans as the largest nonwhite group in the United States. What impact does the rise in the Latino population have on American society? Davis (Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster, Vintage, 1999) here presents a powerful, left-wing examination of this question. In 15 chapters, the author explores the social, economic, educational, racial, linguistic, legal, and demographic nature of Latino emergence in urban America. These elements point to the existence in the United States an international Latino community that contains aspects of American and Latin American culture. While Latino political and economic power has grown--especially in California, Florida, Texas, and New York--crime, poor educational and economic opportunities, and racism (as seen in white flight and the "English first" movement) continue to impede development. Davis's political manifesto stands as a powerful statement on modern America and is recommended for all libraries.--Stephen L. Hupp, Urbana Univ., OH Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Booknews
Davis, an independent author and social activist, provides an account of the Latinization of the American city. He explores how Latinos are attempting to shape their dramatic demographic growth into effective social power, coordinating worker and student movements that Davis argues are reinventing the American left. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Kirkus Reviews
Another contemporary classic of urban studies from Davis (Ecology of Fear, not reviewed), herald of the good and bad—but mostly bad—times ahead. Davis argues that Latinos are poised to be the largest, most important, and most overlooked minority in US cities. Citing numerous studies, Davis shows that immigrant Latinos and Hispanic-Americans are well on their way to surpassing African-Americans as the largest minority in the US, creating massive, $30-billion regional markets and revitalizing the cities they now call home. In Los Angeles Latinos tend to create parks in their neighborhoods (as opposed to the less centralized strip malls favored by old-guard developers). In New York they settle in the Bronx, following in the footsteps of the Irish and Italian immigrants who came there a century before. Davis is at his best when he describes the overlooked consequences of this migration. He argues that many Latinos experience "syncretic" existences, meaning they live simultaneously in the US and in their homelands. Here we discover a kind of magical urbanism: Indian tribes discussing important village business on conference call—one set of elders in Brooklyn, one in Mexico. But, despite these changes, Davis argues that the future of the Latinos (and therefore of the US) is filled with conflict. Like other minorities, Latinos have suffered as the manufacturing base of large US cities has disappeared overseas. Unlike other minorities, however, Latinos have not regained the ground they lost in the past few decades. In 1959, US-born Mexicans in Southern California earned 19 percent less than non-Hispanic whites; in 1990, that gap had widened to 31 percent.Disinvestmentin big city school systems, and a lack of bilingual education have reduced Latinos' chances at breaking the cycle of dependence. Davis, a good Marxist, ends his apocalyptic message on a hopeful note, however: he points to new, Latino-led union efforts as the best agents for change. A wake-up call for anyone who cares about the future of American cities.
From the Publisher
“A non-romantic, optimistic view of the role Latinos will play in revitalizing dead urban areas and a dying American Left.”—San Francisco Bay Guardian

“Another contemporary classic of Urban Studies from Davis. A wake-up call for anyone who cares about the future of American cities.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Fans of Mike Davis’s slash-and-burn prose and take-no-prisoners credo will not be disappointed ... His new bo0ok about citified Latinos serves up more helpings of the elegant muckraking that thrilled the readers of City of Quartz and Ecology of Fear.”—Andrew Ross, Bookforum

“Ricky Martin, Sammy Samosa, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera—something is happening to American popular culture. Mike Davis pulls together the startling facts, identifies the underlying trends and ... brings his characteristic energy, eye for detail and exhaustive research to bear on an important phenomenon that remains mostly unexplored.”—Jon Wiener, In These Times

“This well-researched, well-written book is driven by powerful feelings of indignation at the hardships Latinos are suffering in the United states today.”—Washington Post

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859843284
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/2001
  • Series: Haymarket Series
  • Edition description: REVISED & EXPANDED
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 528,399
  • Product dimensions: 5.15 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Mike Davis is the author of several books including City of Quartz, Ecology of Fear, Late Victorian Holocausts, and Magical Urbanism. He was recently awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. He lives in Papa'aloa, Hawaii.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Foreword Latinos and the Crossover Aesthetic xi
1 Spicing the City 1
2 Buscando America 11
3 La Frontera's Siamese Twins 25
4 The Latino Metropolis 39
5 Tropicalizing Cold Urban Space 51
6 The Third Border 59
7 Fabricating the "Brown Peril" 67
8 Transnational Suburbs 77
9 Falling Down 91
10 The Puerto Rican Tragedy 103
11 Education Ground Zero 111
12 Disabling Spanish 119
13 Who Will Feed the Dragon? 129
14 Broken Rainbows 137
15 Uprising of the Million 143
Notes 151
Index 169
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)