Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the US City

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Verso, 2001 - Social Science - 202 pages
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Winner of the 2001 Carey McWilliams Award

Is the capital of Latin America a small island at the mouth of the Hudson River? Will California soon hold the balance of power in Mexican national politics? Will Latinos reinvigorate the US labor movement?

These are some of the provocative questions that Mike Davis explores in this fascinating account of the Latinization of the US urban landscape. As he forefully shows, this is a demographic and cultural revolution with extraordinary implications. With Spanish surnames increasing five times faster than the general population, salsa is becoming the predominant ethnic rhythm (and flavor) of contemporary city life. In Los Angeles, Houston, San Antonio, and (shortly) Dallas, Latinos outnumber non-Hispanic whites; in New York, San Diego and Phoenix they outnumber Blacks. According to the Bureau of the Census, Latinos will supply fully two-thirds of the nation's population growth between now and the middle of the 21st century when nearly 100 millions Americans will boast Latin American ancestry.

Davis focuses on the great drama of how Latinos are attempting to translate their urban demographic ascendancy into effective social power. Pundits are now unanimous that Spanish-surname voters are the sleeping giant of US politics. Yet electoral mobilization alone is unlikely to redress the increasing income and opportunity gaps between urban Latinos and suburban non-Hispanic whites. Thus in Los Angeles and elsewhere, the militant struggles of Latino workers and students are reinventing the American left. Fully updated throughout, and with new chapters on the urban Southwest and the explodiing counter-migration of Anglos to Mexico, Magical Urbanism is essential reading for anyone who wants to grasp the future of urban America

This paperback edition of Mike Davis's investigation into the Latinization of America incorporates the extraordinary findings of the 2000 Census as well as new chapters on the militarization of the border and violence against immigrants.
 

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MAGICAL URBANISM: Latinos Reinvent the U.S. City

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Another contemporary classic of urban studies from Davis (Ecology of Fear, not reviewed), herald of the good and bad—but mostly bad—times ahead.Davis argues that Latinos are poised to be the largest ... Read full review

Magical urbanism: Latinos reinvent the US city

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Around 1996, Latinos surpassed African Americans as the largest nonwhite group in the United States. What impact does the rise in the Latino population have on American society? Davis (Ecology of Fear ... Read full review

Contents

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About the author (2001)

Mike Davis is the author of several books including Planet of Slums, City of Quartz, Ecology of Fear, Late Victorian Holocausts, and Magical Urbanism. He was recently awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. He lives in Papa'aloa, Hawaii.

Michael Sprinker was Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His Imaginary Relations: Aesthetics and Ideology in the History of Historical Materialism and History and Ideology in Proust are also published by Verso. Together with Mike Davis, he founded Verso's Haymarket Series and guided it until his death in 1999.

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