Evil Paradises: Dreamworlds of Neoliberalism

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9781595583925: Evil Paradises: Dreamworlds of Neoliberalism

Evil Paradises, edited by Mike Davis and Daniel Bertrand Monk, is a global guidebook to phantasmagoric but real places—alternate realities being constructed as "utopias" in a capitalist era unfettered by unions and state regulation. These developments—in cities, deserts, and in the middle of the sea—are worlds where consumption and inequality surpass our worst nightmares.

Although they read like science fiction, the case studies are shockingly real. In Dubai, where child slavery existed until very recently, a gilded archipelago of private islands known as "The World" is literally being added to the ocean. In Medellín and Kabul, drug lords—in many ways textbook capitalists—are redefining conspicuous consumption in fortified palaces. In Hong Kong, Cairo, and even the Iranian desert, burgeoning communities of nouveaux riches have taken shelter in fantasy Californias, complete with Mickey Mouse statues, while their maids sleep in rooftop chicken coops. Meanwhile, Ted Turner rides herd over his bison in 2 million acres of private parkland.

Davis and Monk have assembled an extraordinary group of urbanists, architects, historians, and visionary thinkers to reflect upon the trajectory of a civilization whose deepest ethos seems to be to consume all the resources of the earth within a single lifetime.

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About the Author:

MacArthur fellow Mike Davis is the author of Monster at Our Door and Dead Cities (The New Press), among other books. He lives in San Diego. Daniel Bertrand Monk is the director of the Peace Studies Program at Colgate University and the author of An Aesthetic Occupation. He lives in Hamilton, New York.

From Publishers Weekly:

In the evil paradises of this uneven anthology edited by scholars Davis and Monk, the free market coddles the wealthy at the expense of everyone else. With contributions from academics, architects and journalists, the essays explore how cities like Beijing and Johannesburg disregard good governance for prestige projects adored by the nomadic business elite. Though the message is consistent, the tone wanders from a fun and flimsy piece on Orange County by journalist Rebecca Schoenkopf to history professor Jon Wiener's overly somber look at Ted Turner's two million–acre landholding. In one essay, Davis launches a salvo at Dubai, distilling the glittering emirate into Milton Friedman's Beach Club, powered by the labor of imported near-slaves. California-style gated housing developments are a recurring theme, popping up in Iran and Hong Kong. More original is science fiction novelist China Miéville's brilliant essay Floating Utopias about a seafaring metropolis and tax haven to dwarf the largest ocean liner. The catch? This libertarian dream project will probably never be built because that philosophy, Miéville explains, is for people too small, incompetent or insufficiently connected to avoid taxes or, for that matter, to build a boat equipped with an airport. Even when it's not so pithy, this leftist world tour reminds us of development's human cost. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Book Description The New Press, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Evil Paradises, edited by Mike Davis and Daniel Bertrand Monk, is a global guidebook to phantasmagoric but real places--alternate realities being constructed as utopias in a capitalist era unfettered by unions and state regulation. These developments--in cities, deserts, and in the middle of the sea--are worlds where consumption and inequality surpass our worst nightmares. Although they read like science fiction, the case studies are shockingly real. In Dubai, where child slavery existed until very recently, a gilded archipelago of private islands known as The World is literally being added to the ocean. In Medellin and Kabul, drug lords--in many ways textbook capitalists--are redefining conspicuous consumption in fortified palaces. In Hong Kong, Cairo, and even the Iranian desert, burgeoning communities of nouveaux riches have taken shelter in fantasy Californias, complete with Mickey Mouse statues, while their maids sleep in rooftop chicken coops. Meanwhile, Ted Turner rides herd over his bison in 2 million acres of private parkland. Davis and Monk have assembled an extraordinary group of urbanists, architects, historians, and visionary thinkers to reflect upon the trajectory of a civilization whose deepest ethos seems to be to consume all the resources of the earth within a single lifetime. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781595583925

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Book Description The New Press, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Evil Paradises, edited by Mike Davis and Daniel Bertrand Monk, is a global guidebook to phantasmagoric but real places--alternate realities being constructed as utopias in a capitalist era unfettered by unions and state regulation. These developments--in cities, deserts, and in the middle of the sea--are worlds where consumption and inequality surpass our worst nightmares. Although they read like science fiction, the case studies are shockingly real. In Dubai, where child slavery existed until very recently, a gilded archipelago of private islands known as The World is literally being added to the ocean. In Medellin and Kabul, drug lords--in many ways textbook capitalists--are redefining conspicuous consumption in fortified palaces. In Hong Kong, Cairo, and even the Iranian desert, burgeoning communities of nouveaux riches have taken shelter in fantasy Californias, complete with Mickey Mouse statues, while their maids sleep in rooftop chicken coops. Meanwhile, Ted Turner rides herd over his bison in 2 million acres of private parkland. Davis and Monk have assembled an extraordinary group of urbanists, architects, historians, and visionary thinkers to reflect upon the trajectory of a civilization whose deepest ethos seems to be to consume all the resources of the earth within a single lifetime. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781595583925

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