- Paperback: 441 pages
- Publisher: Verso; New Edition edition (September 4, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1844675688
- ISBN-13: 978-1844675685
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.5 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 73 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles New Edition Edition
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Eschewing the character study that comprises most Los Angeles history, Davis concentrates on the ongoing and ignored ethnic and class struggles, formerly manifested by booster (pro-growth) exploitation, now replaced by exclusionary (no-growth) neighborhood incorporation, and by police control of Afro-American and Latino neighborhoods. His analysis of recent Los Angeles history is often chilling and--sad to say--more true than false. Small inaccuracies sometimes afflict the narrative, and the breathlessness of Davis's writing will probably confuse readers who are unfamilar with the region. But these criticisms quibble with an otherwise important and necessary work. Recommended.
- Tim Zindel, Hastings Coll . of the Law, San Francisco
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Having worked for several of the major downtown LA movers and shakers (Bank of America, Atlantic-Richfield, the Chandler-era Los Angeles Times (for Vance Stickle), Federated Department Stores, Carter-Hawley-Hale, the Los Angeles Central City Association (for former deputy mayor Steve Gavin)) as well as several of the major residential and commercial developers of the surrounding communities (American-Pacesetter (for John Klug), Pacific Mutual Life Insurance, Ernest W. Hahn, Cadillac-Fairview Ltd., the Alaska Teamsters Union Pension Fund, MCO Properties (for Charles Hurwitz), Landmark Land Company (for Ernie Vossler), Kohlberg-Kravis-Roberts via KSL Land) as a paid informer -- and dis-informer -- during the Central Business District Redevelopment campaign in 1975 and numerous municipal approval campaigns before and after, I was far enough inside to know that Davis was, as well.
Money talks, BS walks. The Big Boys knew this then, and they know it now. No one that I know of, however, has Pieced It All Together as elegantly and definitively, however rambling, tangential and (possibly) difficult to follow Davis's prose becomes at times. I respect the fact that having been there helps, but for the graduate -- or even upper-division undergrad -- student Looking for Clues, this is a gold mine... and not just about Los Angeles or even southern California. In most ways, this =is= the way things work pretty much everywhere.