Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the US City

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Winner of the 2001 Carey McWilliams Award.

This paperback edition of Mike Davis’s investigation into the Latinization of America incorporates the extraordinary findings of the 2000 Census as well as new chapters on the militarization of the Border and violence against immigrants.

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Overview

Winner of the 2001 Carey McWilliams Award.

This paperback edition of Mike Davis’s investigation into the Latinization of America incorporates the extraordinary findings of the 2000 Census as well as new chapters on the militarization of the Border and violence against immigrants.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

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

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.
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.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859847718
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 6/17/2000
  • Series: Haymarket Series
  • Pages: 190
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 7.82 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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.
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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
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