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Evil Paradises: Dreamworlds of Neoliberalismby Daniel Bertrand Monk
Synopses & Reviews
An extraordinary group of thinkers, brought together by the bestselling author of City of Quartz, explore future worlds being created by unfettered capitalism.
Filled with "stories of greed, exploitation and enough conspicuous consumption to make a hedge fund manager blush" (Los Angeles Times) and featured in Utne Reader, In These Times, and New Left Review, Evil Paradises is a global guidebook to capitalist "utopias" being constructed in cities, deserts, and even in the middle of the sea.
This fascinating world tour takes us to Dubai, where a gilded archipelago of private islands offers "supreme lifestyles" to the super-rich and famous; Medellín and Kabul, where drug lords—in many ways textbook capitalists—are redefining conspicuous consumption in fortified palaces; Hong Kong and Cairo, where the local nouveaux riches take shelter in fantasy Californias, while their maids sleep in rooftop chicken coops; and a dozen other places around the world where unfettered capitalism and inequality surpass our worst nightmares. Contributors include: Judit Bodnár, Patrick Bond, Anne-Marie Broudehoux, Joe Day, Marco d'Eramo, Anthony Fontenot, Marina Forti, Forrest Hylton, Sara Lipton, Ajmal Maiwandi, China Miéville, Don Mitchell, Timothy Mitchell, Dennis Rodgers, Laura Ruggeri, Emir Sader, Rebecca Schoenkopf, and Jon Wiener.
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.
About the Author
MacArthur fellow Mike Davis is the author of Monster at Our Door and Dead Cities (The New Press), 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.
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