Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the US Cityby Mike Davis, Roman de la Campa
Is the capital of Latin America a small island at the mouth of the Hudson River?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.
Bookselling This Week
A non-romantic, optimistic view of the role Latinos will play in revitalizing dead urban areas and a dying American Left.
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.
“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, In These Times
“Another contemporary classic of urban studies from Davis. A wake-up call for anyone who cares about the future of American cities.”—Kirkus Reviews
“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
“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 Book World
Meet the Author
Mike Davis is the author of several books including Planet of Slums, 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.
Michael Sprinker was Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His Imaginary Relations: Aesthetics and Ideology in the History of Historical Materialism and History and Ideology in Proust are also published by Verso. Together with Mike Davis, he founded Verso’s Haymarket Series and guided it until his death in 1999.
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