by Mike Davis
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.
"A profound enquiry into an urgent subject... a brilliant book." -- Arundhati Roy, activist and author of The End of Imagination, Field Notes on Democracy, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, and Capitalism: A Ghost Story
"With cool indignation, Davis argues that the exponential growth of slums is no accident but the result of a perfect storm of corrupt leadership, institutional failure, and IMF-imposed programs leading to a massive transfer of wealth from rich to poor... Like the work of Jacob Riis, Ida Tarbell, and Lincoln Steffens over a century ago, this searing indictment makes the shame of our cities urgently clear." -- Michael Sorkin
"While many case studies have described what it means to reside in a favela, basti, kampung, gecekondu or bidonville, Davis provides a properly global portrait ... And whereas urban specialists have focused on questions of space and land use in their discussions of slums, and developmentalists on the issue of their 'informal economies', Planet of Slums commands our attention as a broader historical synthesis of the two." -- New Left Review
About the Author:
Mike Davis is the author of many books including Set the Night on Fire, Prisoners of the American Dream, Old Gods, New Enigmas, Late Victorian Holocausts, City of Quartz, The Monster Enters, 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.