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Planet of Slums (2006)

by Mike Davis

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7652023,724 (3.97)27
"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."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)
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» See also 27 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
It's like reading the first 5 pages of google search results for "slums+marxist". Maybe that's how it was researched. ( )
  Paul_S | Apr 30, 2021 |
A magesterial tour through the worst and (limited) best of the urbanizing third world, in all its horror and potential. The global order, and neoliberalism in particular, still hasn't managed to devise any strategy for incorporating a billion sub-subsistence laborers into formal economies, not a way to provide infrastructure or public services.

Must we doom the developing world to the Dickensian role of "surplus population"? Mike Davis takes us on a tour and demonstrates how the indomitable human spirit prevails, but barely, and with such immiseration and struggle. No slum is alike, but neither is any slum a "good" one.

Davis includes an interesting epilogue with a brief survey of the US military's efforts to consider the city in the context of future urban warfare, and as one of the few elements of government to do so (particularly in the contemporary timeframe of 2005-2006). It foreshadows Stephen Graham's Cities Under Siege, but in a far more intelligible, less postmodern style of prose. That holds true for the rest of the boom as well. Very much recommended. ( )
  goliathonline | Jul 7, 2020 |
Fascinating. DENSE. ( )
  mitchtroutman | Jun 14, 2020 |
Gli slum sono quelle indefinite distese di edifici di varia natura, dalle baracche ai caseggiati, miseri aggregati di manufatti che si diffondono dai bordi della città verso la campagna. Ma non sono né città né campagna. E neanche periferie. Gli slum sono l¿elemento cospicuo del paesaggio nel sud del mondo – America latina, Asia e Africa. Attualmente – dati dell¿Onu citati da Davis – sono abitati da un miliardo di persone, ma le cifre sono quanto di più incerto possa darsi. Con sicurezza si sa che sono in continua crescita e che assorbono la quasi totalità della crescita demografica mondiale. I ritmi spaventano più dei dati assoluti: nel 1910 Londra era sette volte più grande di quanto fosse cent¿anni prima; Dhaka, Kinshasa e Lagos sono all¿incirca quaranta volte più grandi di quanto fossero cinquant¿anni fa. In mezzo secolo Città del Messico è passata da 3 a 22 milioni di abitanti. Il Cairo da 2 e mezzo a 15. Mumbay (Bombay) da 3 a 19.
  vecchiopoggi | Feb 14, 2016 |
As always, Davis' historical info is great, and fascinating, but the economics and social dynamics of global urbanity seem to be morphing too quickly and in too many directions at once for some of the predictions he makes to hold up. ( )
  CSRodgers | May 3, 2014 |
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Irgendwann im nächsten oder übernächsten Jahr wird eine Frau in Ajegunle, einem Slum von Lagos, ein Kind zur Welt bringen, ein junger Mann wird in Westjava sein Dorf verlassen und zu den Lichtern der Grossstadt Jakarta aufbrechen oder ein Bauer wird mit seiner verarmten Familie in eines der zahllosen pueblos jovenes von Lima ziehen.
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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 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."--BOOK JACKET.

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