Mike-davis-max_221

Mike Davis

Mike Davis is the author of several books including City of Quartz, The Monster at Our Door, Buda’s Wagon, and Planet of Slums. He is the recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship and the Lannan Literary Award. He lives in San Diego.

Blog

  • New Left Review - Issue 103 out now


    The latest issue of New Left Review is now available, featuring a symposium on American Transition:

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  • Buda’s Wagon: The Gates of Hell

    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 Buda’s Wagon, Davis' brilliant and disturbing 100-year history of the “poor man’s air force,” the ubiquitous weapon of urban mass destruction

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  • Late Victorian Holocausts: The Origins of the Third World

    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?

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Books

  • 9781784786632-max_103

    Buda’s Wagon

    The brilliant and disturbing 100-year history of the “poor man’s air force,” the ubiquitous weapon of urban mass destruction

    12 posts

  • 9781784786625-max_103

    Late Victorian Holocausts

    A magisterial melding of global ecological and political history, disclosing the nineteenth-century roots of underdevelopment in what became the Third World

    13 posts

  • 9781784786618-max_103

    Planet of Slums

    The classic, brilliant, best-selling account of the rise of the world’s slums, where, according to the United Nations, one billion people now live

    22 posts