9780375706073

Ecology of Fear : Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780375706073

  • ISBN10:

    0375706070

  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 1999-09-07
  • Publisher: Vintage

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Summary

"Graced with a bold political and environmental vision, much splendid phrasemaking and a multitude of facts. . . . A truly eccentric contribution."--The New York Times Book Review Earthquakes. Wildfires. Floods. Drought. Tornadoes. Snakes in the sea, mountain lions, and a plague of bees. In this controversial tour de force of scholarship, unsparing vision, and inspired writing, Mike Davis, the author of City of Quartz, revisits Los Angeles as a Book of the Apocalypse theme park. By brilliantly juxtaposing L.A.'s fragile natural ecology with its disastrous environmental and social history, he compellingly shows a city deliberately put in harm's way by land developers, builders, and politicians, even as the incalculable toll of inevitable future catas-trophe continues to accumulate. Counterpointing L.A.'s central role in America's fantasy life--the city has been destroyed no less than 138 times in novels and films since 1909--with its wanton denial of its own real history, Davis creates a revelatory kaleidoscope of American fact, imagery, and sensibility. Drawing upon a vast array of sources, Ecology of Fear meticulously captures the nation's violent malaise and desperate social unease at the millennial end of "the American century." With savagely entertaining wit and compassionate rage, this book conducts a devastating reconnaissance of our all-too-likely urban future. "Dizzying. . . . In Mr. Davis's account, the world ends in fire, and the next time is now."--The New York Times

Author Biography

A former meatcutter and long-distance truck driver, Mike Davis has taught urban theory at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, was a fellow at the Getty Institute, and was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship.  He is the author of Prisoners of the American Dream and City of Quartz.  He was born in Fontana, a suburb of Los Angeles, and now lives in Pasadena.

Table of Contents

The Dialectic of Ordinary Disaster
3(54)
How Eden Lost Its Garden
57(36)
The Case for Letting Malibu Burn
93(56)
Our Secret Kansas
149(46)
Maneaters of the Sierra Madre
195(78)
The Literary Destruction of Los Angeles
273(84)
Beyond Blade Runner
357(66)
Notes 423(40)
Acknowledgments 463(2)
Illustration Acknowledgments 465(2)
Index 467

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