City of Quartz: Excavating the Future of Los Angeles (Haymarket Series)

Mike Davis

Published by Verso, 1990
ISBN 10: 0860913031 / ISBN 13: 9780860913030
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Synopsis: No metropolis has been more loved or more hated. To its official boosters, “Los Angeles brings it all together.” To detractors, LA is a sunlit mortuary where “you can rot without feeling it.” To Mike Davis, the author of this fiercely elegant and wide- ranging work of social history, Los Angeles is both utopia and dystopia, a place where the last Joshua trees are being plowed under to make room for model communities in the desert, where the rich have hired their own police to fend off street gangs, as well as armed Beirut militias. 

In City of Quartz, Davis reconstructs LA’s shadow history and dissects its ethereal economy. He tells us who has the power and how they hold on to it. He gives us a city of Dickensian extremes, Pynchonesque conspiracies, and a desperation straight out of Nathaniel Westa city in which we may glimpse our own future mirrored with terrifying clarity.

Review: Mike Davis peers into a looking glass to divine the future of Los Angeles, and what he sees is not encouraging: a city--or better, a concatenation of competing city states--torn by racial enmity, economic disparity, and social anomie. Looking backward, Davis suggests that Los Angeles has always been contested ground. In the 1840s, he writes, a combination of drought and industrial stock raising led to the destruction of small-scale Spanish farming in the region. In the 1910s, Los Angeles was the scene of a bitter conflict between management and industrial workers, so bitter that the publisher of the Los Angeles Times retreated to a heavily fortified home he called "The Bivouac." And in 1992, much of the city fell before flames and riot in a scenario Davis describes as thus: "Gangs are multiplying at a terrifying rate, cops are becoming more arrogant and trigger-happy, and a whole generation is being shunted toward some impossible Armageddon." Davis's voice-in-a-whirlwind approach to the past, present, and future of Los Angeles is alarming and arresting, and his book is essential reading for anyone interested in contemporary affairs. --Gregory MacNamee

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Title: City of Quartz: Excavating the Future of Los...
Publisher: Verso
Publication Date: 1990
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Published by Verso Books (1990)
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Book Description Verso, 1990. Hard Cover. Book Condition: Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Good. Morrow, Robert (illustrator). First Edition. First Edition. Spine is cocked, bumping/chipping present, soiling/foxing present along page edges. Good condition. Light to moderate shelf wear, creasing on covers. Binding intact. Good condition Dust Jacket Included. DJ has light to moderate shelf wear, rubbing. (V99). Bookseller Inventory # 100410037

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Book Description Verso, London, 1990. Hardcover. Book Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. First Edition. A bit of edge foxing else nice copy; 1.6 x 9.4 x 6.4 Inches; 462 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 37718

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