edited by Mike Davis and Daniel Bertrand Monk (New Press)
The essays in Evil Paradises deliver a chilling indictment of a world in which competing corporate elites squander public resources on megalomaniacal projects. In Beijing, 300,000 residents are uprooted from their homes to make way for the 2008 Olympics. In Dubai, imported indentured laborers build an indoor ski slope. In Montana, Ted Turner poisons a creek to restore a “native” species. While it’s sometimes remarkably detached, Evil Paradises never spares the hallucinatory details of robber baron excesses and security state expansion. The mythology of California leads the way, and gated subdivisions with names like Beverly Hills litter the landscapes of Egypt, China, and even Iran. Evil Paradises prompts us to ask whether, in the midst of these developments, it’s the imagination that has been reduced to rubble.