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City of quartz : excavating the future in…
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City of quartz : excavating the future in Los Angeles (1990)

by Mike Davis

Other authors: Robert Morrow (Photographer)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,1361110,919 (3.97)16

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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Read this book and the follow up Ecology of Fear - enjoyed both. I would highly recommend both of these titles to anyone even remotely interested in the craziness which is Southern California. ( )
  LaurieAE | Aug 22, 2013 |
Los Angeles as one rarely gets to see it - the history, the politics, the architecture. It is the story of Los Angeles with an acute eye for the absurd, the unjust, and even the dangerous.
  zenosbooks | Sep 9, 2012 |
A quintessential text of the New Western History and the most important work on Los Angeles in the latter half of the twentieth century. ( )
  j_wendel_cox | Dec 8, 2011 |
Los Angeles as one rarely gets to see it - the history, the politics, the architecture. It is the story of Los Angeles with an acute eye for the absurd, the unjust, and even the dangerous. ( )
  zenosbooks | Feb 26, 2009 |
was forced to read this in an English class at Santa Monica College in 2004. The epitome of a biased environmentalist, I was forever scared of the type after reading this and the debacle of how inaccurate it was afterward. the dude was like the Wikipedia of the 90's flat out lying cause he could... ( )
  TakeItOrLeaveIt | Feb 21, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mike Davisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Morrow, RobertPhotographersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Reise, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The superficial inducement, the exotic, the picturesque has a effect only on the foreigner.  To portray a city, a native must have other, deeper motives -- motives on one who travels into the past instead of into the distance.  A native's book about his city will always be related to memoirs; the writer has not spent his childhood there in vain.  -Walter Benjamin
Dedication
for m sweet Roisin, to remember her grandmother by...
First words
The best place to view Los Angeles of the next millennium is from the ruins of its alternative future.  (Prologue The View from Futures Past)
In the summer of 1989, a well-known fashion magazine constantly on the prowl for lifestyle trends reported from Los Angeles that "intellectualism" has arived there as the latest fad. (Chapter One, Sunshine or Noir?)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679738061, Paperback)

Mike Davis peers into a looking glass to divine the future of Los Angeles, and what he sees is not encouraging: a city--or better, a concatenation of competing city states--torn by racial enmity, economic disparity, and social anomie. Looking backward, Davis suggests that Los Angeles has always been contested ground. In the 1840s, he writes, a combination of drought and industrial stock raising led to the destruction of small-scale Spanish farming in the region. In the 1910s, Los Angeles was the scene of a bitter conflict between management and industrial workers, so bitter that the publisher of the Los Angeles Times retreated to a heavily fortified home he called "The Bivouac." And in 1992, much of the city fell before flames and riot in a scenario Davis describes as thus: "Gangs are multiplying at a terrifying rate, cops are becoming more arrogant and trigger-happy, and a whole generation is being shunted toward some impossible Armageddon." Davis's voice-in-a-whirlwind approach to the past, present, and future of Los Angeles is alarming and arresting, and his book is essential reading for anyone interested in contemporary affairs. --Gregory MacNamee

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:27 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"This new edition of Mike Davis's visionary work gives an update on Los Angeles as the city hits the 21st century. No metropolis has been more loved or more hated. To its official boosters, "Los Angeles brings it all together." To detractors, LA is a sunlit mortuary where "you can rot without feeling it." To Mike Davis, the author of this fiercely elegant and wide- ranging work of social history, Los Angeles is both utopia and dystopia, a place where the last Joshua trees are being plowed under to make room for model communities in the desert, where the rich have hired their own police to fend off street gangs, as well as armed Beirut militias. In City of Quartz, Davis reconstructs LA's shadow history and dissects its ethereal economy. He tells us who has the power and how they hold on to it. He gives us a city of Dickensian extremes, Pynchonesque conspiracies, and a desperation straight out of Nathaniel West - a city in which we may glimpse our own future mirrored with terrifying clarity."--Publisher's description.… (more)

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