Synopses & Reviews
A celebrated urban historian’s bestselling account of the global explosion of slums.According to the united nations, more than one billion people now live in the slums of the cities of the South. In this brilliant and ambitious book, Mike Davis explores the future of a radically unequal and explosively unstable urban world. From the sprawling barricadas of Lima to the garbage hills of Manila, urbanization has been disconnected from industrialization, and even from economic growth. Davis portrays a vast humanity warehoused in shantytowns and exiled from the formal world economy. He argues that the rise of this informal urban proletariat is a wholly unforeseen development, and asks whether the great slums, as a terrified Victorian middle class once imagined, are volcanoes waiting to erupt.
An exploration of modern-world urbanization cites a concerning rise in slum life that currently accounts for nearly one-fifth of the world's population, arguing that urban populations are disconnected and exempt from the formal world economy and may represent an explosive convergence of ethnic, religious, and political unrest.
Table of Contents
1. The urban climacteric -- 2. The prevalence of slums -- 3. The treason of the state -- 4. Illusions of self-help -- 5. Haussmann in the tropics -- 6. Slim ecology -- 7. SAPing the Third World -- 8. A surplus humanity? -- Epilogue. Down Vietnam Street.