Mike Davis was a meat cutter and truck driver, as well as an activist for Students for a Democratic Society before starting his academic career. He is a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship Award and the Lannan Literary Award. His many books on history and the city, including the bestselling City of Quartz, have been critically acclaimed across the world.
In this new series we bring together his classic books in beautiful new editions, starting with Planet of Slums, Buda's Wagon: A Brief History of the Car Bomb, and Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World.
All our books by Mike Davis are 40% off when you buy 2 or more. Activate your discount by clicking here, or on any of the book links below. The discount will not appear in your cart until you have added 2 or more books. See below for a full list of books by Mike Davis!
Ends Jan 22nd at 23.59 (UTC)
Mike Davis’ writing on history and the city has been celebrated across the world. To mark the significance of his work, we're re-releasing his classic works in these beautiful new editions and we have 40% off all his writing until Jan 22.
Here we present an extract from Late Victorian Holocausts, Davis' magisterial melding of global ecological and political history, disclosing the nineteenth-century roots of underdevelopment in what became the Third World.
What historians ... have so often dismissed as “climatic accidents” turn out to be not so accidental after all. Although its syncopations are complex and quasi-periodic, ENSO [El Niño-Southern Oscillation] has a coherent spatial and temporal logic. And, contrary to Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie’s famous (Eurocentric?) conclusion in Times of Feast, Times of Famine that climate change is a “slight, perhaps negligible” shaper of human affairs, ENSO is an episodically potent force in the history of tropical humanity. If, as Raymond Williams once observed, “Nature contains, though often unnoticed, an extraordinary amount of human history,” we are now learning that the inverse is equally true: there is an extraordinary amount of hitherto unnoticed environmental instability in modern history. The power of ENSO events indeed seems so overwhelming in some instances that it is tempting to assert that great famines, like those of the 1870s and 1890s (or, more recently, the Sahelian disaster of the 1970s), were “caused” by El Niño, or by El Niño acting upon traditional agrarian misery. This interpretation, of course, inadvertently echoes the official line of the British in Victorian India as recapitulated in every famine commission report and viceregal allocution: millions were killed by extreme weather, not imperialism. Was this true?
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Ciro Bustos on 1st January in Malmo, Sweden. Ciro was the author of Che Wants to See You, which included his account of being in the Bolivian jungle with Che Guevara, and his arrest alongside Regis Debray. After three years imprisoned in a cage, he was released only to be a victim of the Pinochet coup d'etat in Chile, 1972. Escaping to Argentina, he was once again forced into exile in Sweden in 1976 under threat from right-wing death squads.