Chronicler of the California dark side and LA’s underbelly, proclaiming a troubling, menacing reality beneath the bright and sunny facade, Mike Davis is one of California’s most significant contemporary writers. His most controversial books led critics to label him anything from a left-wing lunatic to a prophet of gloom and peddler of “the pornography of despair.” Yet much of his personal story and evolution are intimately touched by his experience and close reading of deeply California realities: life as part of the working class, the struggle for better working conditions, and a genuine connection to the difficulties here. His most well known books, City of Quartz and The Ecology of Fear are unsparing in their assessments of those difficulties. He invited architectural educator and Director of UCLA’s cityLAB, Dana Cuff, and Dean of UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design, Jennifer Wolch, into his San Diego home to discuss his career, his writings, and his erstwhile and ongoing efforts to understand Los Angeles.

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