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Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the US Cityby Mike Davis
Synopses & Reviews
Is the capital of Latin America a small island at the mouth of the Hudson River?Will California soon hold the balance of power in Mexican national politics? Will Latinos reinvigorate the U.S. labor movement? These are some of the provocative questions that Mike Davis explores in this fascinating account of the Latinization of the American urban landscape. As he forcefully shows, this is a demographic and cultural revolution with extraordinary implications. With Spanish surnames increasing five times faster than the general population, salsa is becoming the predominant ethnic rhythm (and flavor) of contemporary city life. In Los Angeles, Houston, San Antonio, and (shortly) Dallas, Latinos outnumber non-Hispanic whites; in New York, San Diego and Phoenix, they outnumber blacks. According to the Bureau of the Census, Latinos will supply fully two thirds of the nation's population growth between now and the middle of the 21st century when nearly 100 million Americans will boast Latin American ancestry. Davis focuses on the great drama of how Latinos are attempting to translate their urban demographic ascendancy into effective social power. Pundits are now unanimous that Spanish surname voters are the sleeping giant of US politics. Though the overall vote in the 1996 elections declined significantly, the Latino share rose by a spectacular 16 percent. Yet electoral mobilization alone is unlikely to redress the increasing income and opportunity gaps between urban Latinos and suburban non-Hispanic whites. Thus in Los Angeles and elsewhere, the militant struggles of Latino workers and students are reinventing the American left. Magical Urbanism is essential reading for anyone who wants to grasp the future of urban America.
"Another contemporary classic of urban studies from Davis (Ecology of Fear), 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....Davis is at his best when he describes the overlooked consequences of this migration....Davis argues that the future of the Latinos (and therefore of the US) is filled with conflict....A wake-up call for anyone who cares about the future of American cities." Kirkus Reviews
Book News Annotation:
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)
The author of "Ecology of Fear" now focuses on the great drama of how Latinosare attempting to translate their urban demographic ascendancy into effectivesocial power.
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.
About the Author
MacArthur Fellow Mike Davis is a professor in the Department of History at the University of California, Irvine, and an editor of New Left Review. His pioneering book on Los Angeles, City of Quartz, has sold over 200,000 copies. His work as a historian and urbanist has been hugely influential across the academic disciplines and beyond.
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