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Planet of Slums

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According to the United Nations, more than one billion people now live in the slums of the cities of the South. In this book, Mike Davis explores the future of a radically unequal and explosively unstable urban world. He traces the global trajectory of informal settlement from the 1960s "slums of hope," through urban poverty's "big bang" during the debt decades of the 1970s and 1980s, down to today's unprecedented megaslums like Cono Sur, Sadr City and the Cape Flats. From the sprawling barricadas of Lima to the ...
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London, England 2006 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 228 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. Gift ... Quality. Brand. Fast Arrival. Packaged and Shipped in bubble wrap. Please leave us positive feedback. Thanks! Free USPS Tracking! Read more Show Less

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Planet of Slums

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Overview

According to the United Nations, more than one billion people now live in the slums of the cities of the South. In this book, Mike Davis explores the future of a radically unequal and explosively unstable urban world. He traces the global trajectory of informal settlement from the 1960s "slums of hope," through urban poverty's "big bang" during the debt decades of the 1970s and 1980s, down to today's unprecedented megaslums like Cono Sur, Sadr City and the Cape Flats. From the sprawling barricadas of Lima to the garbage hills of Manila, urbanization has been disconnected from industrialization, even economic growth. Planet of Slums ends with a meditation on the "war on terrorism" as an incipient world war between the American empire and the slum poor.
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Editorial Reviews

Michael Sorkin
“In this trenchantly argued book, Mike Davis quantifies the nightmarish mass production of slums that marks the contemporary city. With cool indignation, Davis argues that the exponential growth of slums is no accident but the result of a perfect storm of corrupt leadership,
institutional failure, and IMF-imposed Structural Adjustment Programs leading to a massive transfer of wealth from poor to rich. Scourge of neo-liberal nostrums, Davis debunks the irresponsible myth of self-help salvation, showing exactly who gets the boot from ‘bootstrap capitalism.’ Like the work of Jacob Riis, Ida Tarbell, and Lincoln
Steffans over a century ago, this searing indictment makes the shame of our cities urgently clear.”
From the Publisher
“The astonishing facts hit like anvil blows ... A heartbreaking book.”—Financial Times

“Davis’s prose exudes a crusading fervour—if not exactly messianic, close enough.”—Village Voice

“If it’s apocalypse you want—and frankly who doesn’t, because how else to explain the mess we’re in—nobody does it better.”—Guardian

“The Raymond Chandler of urban geography ... a coruscating tragedy.”—Independent

“A profound enquiry into an urgent subject ... a brilliant book.”—Arundhati Roy

Financial Times
“The astonishing facts hit like anvil blows ... A heartbreaking book.”
Village Voice
“Davis's prose exudes a crusading fervour – if not exactly messianic, close enough.”
Guadrian
“If it's apocalypse you want – and frankly who doesn't, because how else to explain the mess we're in – nobody does it better.”
Independent
“The Raymond Chandler of urban geography ... a coruscating tragedy.”
Arundhati Roy
“A profound enquiry into an urgent subject ... a brilliant book.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844670222
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 3/13/2006
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.73 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

1 The urban climacteric 1
2 The prevalence of slums 20
3 The treason of the state 50
4 Illusions of self-help 70
5 Haussmann in the tropics 95
6 Slum ecology 121
7 SAPing the third world 151
8 A surplus humanity? 174
Epilogue : down Vietnam street 199
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2006

    Barrio in Stereo

    One comes away from reading 'Planet of Slums' with a far-reaching, well-documented sense of poverty's vast urban scale and its topology. As to the causes and possible solutions, we are left wanting. Globalization, the IMF, World Bank and NGOs are singled out for guilt by association as though slum growth and exploitation of the urban underclass are unintended consequences of ill-conceived development and aid policies. However, a clear analysis of this pattern and direct linkages between slum growth and development policies get lost in the book's focus on demographic statistics, urbanization trends and descriptions of dire circumstances from one ghetto to the next. Finally, in searching for solutions, there are none on these pages except by inference, or perhaps by extension, through revolution. We are left thinking that since global lending, aid organizations, government urban planning and property owner powers are the indicated cause, then thwarting them or doing the opposite must be part of the solution. I was left wondering, where is the model to point the way out of the urban slum?

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