Kyle's Reviews > Planet of Slums

Planet of Slums by Mike Davis
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's review
Sep 14, 2009

really liked it

Just finished Planet of Slums. Written like a sociology text, it explained example after example about how SAPs have turned the third world into a land of slums and gated communities with no middle ground. Shit floats down stream contaminating and polluting people's drinking water as they live in shantytowns with little to subsist on.

It describes "hot demolitions" which is where slumlords send flaming cats through shantytowns in order to set them ablaze so the slumlords can collect the insurance. And the "wage puzzle" of how Africans in some areas make so little money (legally, illegally, formally, informally) researchers simply do not understand how they can survive.

It's a brilliant book on land inequality. Mike Davis, the author, is a well known Marxist sociologist who is absolutely amazing when he kicks into theory mode as opposed to science mode. His ultimate thesis becomes in the epilogue when the U.S. military is practicing invading urban centers who are they planning on exterminating? Terrorists or the poor people pushed to the brink living in their own and others' shit, infected with cholera, AIDS, dysentery and in debt to the World Bank twice as much as it would take to treat these wide epidemics, raping their families.

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