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Davis, Mike. City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles, The Haymarket Series. London and New York: Verso, 1990.
In this excellent book on Los Angeles, Davis reconstructs the city's "shadow" history, analyzes its economy, and brilliantly reveals the power relationships that exist behind the scenes. From the offshore Japanese capital to the local gangs, from the L.A. Police Department to the homeless people on the streets, the author introduces most of the players in the life of the city, both the powerless and those who run the show. City of Quartz is a masterful account of how real and paranoid fear plays a role in the deconstruction of the city's public sphere to secure its "chosen people." Davis argues that authoritarian control of the public space, the fragmentation of the landscape caused by the physical "protection" and isolation of specific areas, and the growing use of surveillance cameras are leading to a militarization of the landscape. Davis, as a native son, affectionately criticizes the city where the past has been erased, dreams have failed, and the image rarely maps into reality--the city that so many Americans love to hate. [S. Vegh]