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Evil Paradises: Dreamworlds of Neoliberalism

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Evil Paradises: Dreamworlds of Neoliberalism Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Eclectic thinkers, brought together by the bestselling author of City of Quartz, meditate on future worlds being created by unfettered capitalism.

"Not content with existing offshore tax shelters, multi-millionaires and property developers have aspired to build their own....To defeat the predatory outreach of nations and tides, it is clearly not enough to be offshore: true freedom floats."—from "Floating Utopias" by China Miéville

Evil Paradises, edited by Mike Davis and Daniel Bertrand Monk, is a global guidebook to phantasmagoric but real places—alternate realities being constructed as "utopias" in a capitalist era unfettered by unions and state regulation. These developments—in cities, deserts, and in the middle of the sea—are worlds where consumption and inequality surpass our worst nightmares.

Although they read like science fiction, the case studies are shockingly real. In Dubai, where child slavery existed until very recently, a gilded archipelago of private islands known as "The World" is literally being added to the ocean. In Medellín and Kabul, drug lords—in many ways textbook capitalists—are redefining conspicuous consumption in fortified palaces. In Hong Kong, Cairo, and even the Iranian desert, burgeoning communities of nouveaux riches have taken shelter in fantasy Californias, complete with Mickey Mouse statues, while their maids sleep in rooftop chicken coops. Meanwhile, Ted Turner rides herd over his bison in 2 million acres of private parkland.

Davis and Monk have assembled an extraordinary group of urbanists, architects, historians, and visionary thinkers to reflect upon the trajectory of a civilization whose deepest ethos seems to be to consume all the resources of the earth within a single lifetime.

Contributors include: Judit Bodnar, Patrick Bond, Anne-Marie Broudehoux, Teddy Cruz, Mike Davis, Joe Day, Marco d'Eramo, Anthony Fontenot, Marina Forti, Forrest Hylton, Sara Lipton, China Miéville, Don Mitchell, Tim Mitchell, Dan Monk, Dennis Rodgers, Laura Ruggeri, Emir Sader, Rebecca Schoenkopf, Jon Wiener.

Review:

"'In the evil paradises of this uneven anthology edited by scholars Davis and Monk, the free market coddles the wealthy at the expense of everyone else. With contributions from academics, architects and journalists, the essays explore how cities like Beijing and Johannesburg disregard good governance for prestige projects adored by the nomadic business elite. Though the message is consistent, the tone wanders from a fun and flimsy piece on Orange County by journalist Rebecca Schoenkopf to history professor Jon Wiener's overly somber look at Ted Turner's two million — acre landholding. In one essay, Davis launches a salvo at Dubai, distilling the glittering emirate into 'Milton Friedman's Beach Club,' powered by the labor of imported near-slaves. California-style gated housing developments are a recurring theme, popping up in Iran and Hong Kong. More original is science fiction novelist China Miville's brilliant essay 'Floating Utopias' about a seafaring metropolis and tax haven to dwarf the largest ocean liner. The catch? This libertarian dream project will probably never be built because that philosophy, Miville explains, is for people 'too small, incompetent or insufficiently connected' to avoid taxes or, for that matter, to build a boat equipped with an airport. Even when it's not so pithy, this leftist world tour reminds us of development's human cost. (July)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Book News Annotation:

Located on 2000 acres of land overlooking the Egyptian pyramids of Giza, the Dreamland luxury development bills itself as "an integrated city where a relaxed lifestyle mixe[s] with a high-tech infrastructure with no upper limits on quality." But for Davis (history, U. of California at Irvine) and Monk (peace studies, Colgate U.), Dreamland is at once capitalist utopia and neoliberal nightmare, a physical manifestation of the socioeconomic inequality wrought by neoliberal globalization in which the international bourgeois class seeks to immunize itself physically and mentally from concern for the welfare of the broader public. In these 19 essays, they and their contributors describe a number of neoliberal dreamlands from around the world and set them in context of wider social and political developments. The multidisciplinary essays discuss neoliberal development schemes in Iran, Dubai, Afghanistan, China, South Africa, Nicaragua, Colombia, Brazil, the United States, and Japan. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Davis and Monk have assembled an extraordinary group of urbanists, architects, historians, and visionary thinkers to reflect upon the trajectory of a civilization whose deepest ethos seems to be to consume all the resources of the Earth within a single lifetime.

Synopsis:

Evil Paradises, edited by Mike Davis and Daniel Bertrand Monk, is a global guidebook to phantasmagoric but real places-alternate realities being constructed as utopias in a capitalist era unfettered by unions and state regulation. These developments-in cities, deserts, and in the middle of the sea-are worlds where consumption and inequality surpass our worst nightmares. Although they read like science fiction, the case studies are shockingly real. In Dubai, where child slavery existed until very recently, a gilded archipelago of private islands known as The World is literally being added to the ocean. In Medellin and Kabul, drug lords-in many ways textbook capitalists-are redefining conspicuous consumption in fortified palaces. In Hong Kong, Cairo, and even the Iranian desert, burgeoning communities of nouveaux riches have taken shelter in fantasy Californias, complete with Mickey Mouse statues, while their maids sleep in rooftop chicken coops. Meanwhile, Ted Turner rides herd over his bison in 2 million acres of private parkland. Davis and Monk have assembled an extraordinary group of urbanists, architects, historians, and visionary thinkers to reflect upon the trajectory of a civilization whose deepest ethos seems to be to consume all the resources of the earth within a single lifetime.

About the Author

MacArthur fellow Mike Davis is the author of Monster at Our Door (The New Press) and City of Quartz, among other books. He lives in San Diego. Daniel Bertrand Monk is the director of the Peace Studies Program at Colgate University and the author of An Aesthetic Occupation. He lives in Hamilton, New York.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781595580764
Author:
Davis, Mike
Publisher:
New Press
Editor:
Monk, Daniel Bertrand
Author:
Monk, Daniel Bertrand
Subject:
Sociology - Urban
Subject:
Economic Conditions
Subject:
History
Subject:
Economic History
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Political Ideologies - General
Subject:
Economic history -- 1990-
Subject:
Capitalism -- History.
Subject:
Politics - General
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20070731
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Future Studies
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » General

Evil Paradises: Dreamworlds of Neoliberalism New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$24.75 Backorder
Product details 336 pages New Press - English 9781595580764 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'In the evil paradises of this uneven anthology edited by scholars Davis and Monk, the free market coddles the wealthy at the expense of everyone else. With contributions from academics, architects and journalists, the essays explore how cities like Beijing and Johannesburg disregard good governance for prestige projects adored by the nomadic business elite. Though the message is consistent, the tone wanders from a fun and flimsy piece on Orange County by journalist Rebecca Schoenkopf to history professor Jon Wiener's overly somber look at Ted Turner's two million — acre landholding. In one essay, Davis launches a salvo at Dubai, distilling the glittering emirate into 'Milton Friedman's Beach Club,' powered by the labor of imported near-slaves. California-style gated housing developments are a recurring theme, popping up in Iran and Hong Kong. More original is science fiction novelist China Miville's brilliant essay 'Floating Utopias' about a seafaring metropolis and tax haven to dwarf the largest ocean liner. The catch? This libertarian dream project will probably never be built because that philosophy, Miville explains, is for people 'too small, incompetent or insufficiently connected' to avoid taxes or, for that matter, to build a boat equipped with an airport. Even when it's not so pithy, this leftist world tour reminds us of development's human cost. (July)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Davis and Monk have assembled an extraordinary group of urbanists, architects, historians, and visionary thinkers to reflect upon the trajectory of a civilization whose deepest ethos seems to be to consume all the resources of the Earth within a single lifetime.
"Synopsis" by , Evil Paradises, edited by Mike Davis and Daniel Bertrand Monk, is a global guidebook to phantasmagoric but real places-alternate realities being constructed as utopias in a capitalist era unfettered by unions and state regulation. These developments-in cities, deserts, and in the middle of the sea-are worlds where consumption and inequality surpass our worst nightmares. Although they read like science fiction, the case studies are shockingly real. In Dubai, where child slavery existed until very recently, a gilded archipelago of private islands known as The World is literally being added to the ocean. In Medellin and Kabul, drug lords-in many ways textbook capitalists-are redefining conspicuous consumption in fortified palaces. In Hong Kong, Cairo, and even the Iranian desert, burgeoning communities of nouveaux riches have taken shelter in fantasy Californias, complete with Mickey Mouse statues, while their maids sleep in rooftop chicken coops. Meanwhile, Ted Turner rides herd over his bison in 2 million acres of private parkland. Davis and Monk have assembled an extraordinary group of urbanists, architects, historians, and visionary thinkers to reflect upon the trajectory of a civilization whose deepest ethos seems to be to consume all the resources of the earth within a single lifetime.
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