Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster

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Vintage Books, 1998 - Nature - 484 pages
42 Reviews
"Graced with a bold political and environmental vision, much splendid phrasemaking and a multitude of facts. . . . A truly eccentric contribution."--The New York Times Book Review  

Earthquakes. Wildfires. Floods. Drought. Tornadoes. Snakes in the sea, mountain lions, and a plague of bees. In this controversial tour de force of scholarship, unsparing vision, and inspired writing, Mike Davis, the author of City of Quartz, revisits Los Angeles as a Book of the Apocalypse theme park. By brilliantly juxtaposing L.A.'s fragile natural ecology with its disastrous environmental and social history, he compellingly shows a city deliberately put in harm's way by land developers, builders, and politicians, even as the incalculable toll of inevitable future catas-trophe continues to accumulate.

Counterpointing L.A.'s central role in America's fantasy life--the city has been destroyed no less than 138 times in novels and films since 1909--with its wanton denial of its own real history, Davis creates a revelatory kaleidoscope of American fact, imagery, and sensibility.  Drawing upon a vast array of sources, Ecology of Fear meticulously captures the nation's violent malaise and desperate social unease at the millennial end of "the American century."  With savagely entertaining wit and compassionate rage, this book conducts a devastating reconnaissance of our all-too-likely urban future.

"Dizzying. . . . In Mr. Davis's account, the world ends in fire, and the next time is now."--The New York Times

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Review: Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster

User Review  - David Wagner - Goodreads

If you're interested in untangling the roots of Los Angeles' ongoing urban identity crisis, Ecology of Fear is a must-read. Davis convincingly argues that the city's defining feature is fear ... Read full review

Review: Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster

User Review  - Matt Champagne - Goodreads

Doomy stuff from LA buff Mike Davis. I enjoyed this more than City Of Quartz just because it was scarier. Read full review

Contents

How Eden Lost Its Garden
57
The Case for Letting Malibu Burn
93
Our Secret Kansas
149
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

\A former meatcutter and long-distance truck driver, Mike Davis has taught urban theory at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, was a fellow at the Getty Institute, and was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship.  He is the author of Prisoners of the American Dream and City of Quartz.  He was born in Fontana, a suburb of Los Angeles, and now lives in Pasadena.

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