Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster (Paperback)
A witty and engrossing look at Los Angeles' urban ecology and the city's place in America's cultural fantasies
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 catastrophe 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.
About the Author
Mike Davis is the author of several books including Set the Night on Fire, Old Gods, New Enigmas, 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.
“Graced with a bold political and environmental vision, much splendid phrasemaking and a multitude of facts … A truly eccentric contribution.”
—New York Times Book Review