leighcia's Reviews > Planet of Slums
Planet of Slums
by Mike Davis
by Mike Davis
I was very deeply impacted by this book—it left me crying pretty violently numerous times, both as I read it and afterwards when I thought of it. Mike Davis writes about the situation of urban peripheral poverty in Third World Countries, illustrating their historical development and inhumane living situations (sanitary and physical dangers aside, Davis writes of diminishing solidarity, growing exploitation and competition; governments have also pretty much abandoned them, instead opting to criminalize these neighborhoods, and seeking to hide them, destroy them or relocate them) Davis draws on numerous other authors, studies and statistics to illustrate his point (though unfortunately, very few first-hand interviews). Unfortunately, this book offers no hope or no policy solutions, only a bleak vision of an impoverished and chaotic future (an appropriate question to ask though—is hope an appropriate timber of emotion when faced with the bleakness of the facts?). This book left me feeling both incredibly privileged in my situation, but also incredibly helpless. I hope that my raw emotions can be channeled into some meaningful action and direction. And perhaps this is what this book is most valuable for: opening your eyes to the reality of the world in such a way that it becomes very difficult to ignore or forget.
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