In Praise of Barbarians:
Essays against Empire
Winner: Lannan Foundation Nonfiction Literary Award, 2007
No writer in the United States today brings together analysis and history as comprehensively and elegantly as Mike Davis.
The author of City of Quartz and Planet of Slums attacks the current fashion for empires and white men’s burdens in this blistering collection of radical essays.
He skewers contemporary idols such as Mel Gibson, Niall Ferguson, and Howard Dean; unlocks some secret doors in the Pentagon and the California prison system; visits Star Wars in the Arctic and vigilantes on the border; predicts ethnic cleansing in New Orleans more than a year before Katrina; recalls the anarchist avengers of the 1890s and “teeny-bopper” riots on the Sunset Strip in the 1960s; discusses the moral bankruptcy of the Democrats in Kansas and West Virginia; remembers “Private Ivan,” who defeated fascism; and looks at the future of capitalism from the top of Hubbert’s Peak.