by Mike Davis
On a September day in 1920, an angry Italian anarchist named Mario Buda exploded a horse-drawn wagon filled with dynamite and iron scrap near New York's Wall Street, killing 40 people. Since Buda's prototype the car bomb has evolved into a "poor man's air force," a generic weapon of mass destruction that now craters cities from Bombay to Oklahoma City. In this provocative history, Mike Davis traces the its worldwide use and development, in the process exposing the role of state intelligence agencies--particularly those of the United States, Israel, India, and Pakistan--in globalizing urban terrorist techniques. Davis argues that it is the incessant impact of car bombs, rather than the more apocalyptic threats of nuclear or bio-terrorism, that is changing cities and urban lifestyles, as privileged centers of power increasingly surround themselves with "rings of steel" against a weapon that nevertheless seems impossible to defeat.
"A serious, disturbing and pessimistic book that resonates with widespread contemporary terrors ... An excellent analysis of the arrogant miscalculations, cruelties and sometimes wanton stupidity of various governing elites."
--Times Literary Supplement
"Mike Davis follows the evolution of the car bomb from the Balkans to Palestine, Vietnam, Northern Ireland, Lebanon and, of course, Iraq."
--New York Times
"Buda's Wagon reveals a grave and fundamental misperception by the administrators of global policy, who fail to see the car bomb for what it is: a symptom of our own excesses."
--American Book Review
About the Author:
Mike Davis is the author of several books including City of Quartz, The Monster at Our Door, Buda's Wagon, and Planet of Slums. He is the recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship and the Lannan Literary Award. He lives in San Diego.