• Paul Dobraszczyk

The Dead City

Updated: Jun 12


My new book, The Dead City: Urban Ruins and the Spectacle of Decay will be published at the end of this month with IB Tauris. Here’s what it’s about:

‘Cities are imagined not just as utopias, but also as ruins. In literature, film, art and popular culture, urban landscapes have been submerged by floods, razed by alien invaders, abandoned by fearful inhabitants and consumed in fire. The Dead City unearths meanings from such depictions of ruination and decay, looking at representations of both thriving cities and ones which are struggling, abandoned or simply in transition. It reveals that ruination presents a complex opportunity to envision new futures for a city, whether that is by rewriting its past or throwing off old assumptions and proposing radical change. Seen in a certain light, for example, urban ruin and decay are a challenge to capitalist narratives of unbounded progress. They can equally imply that power structures thought to be deeply ingrained are temporary, contingent and even fragile. Examining ruins in Chernobyl, Detroit, London, Manchester and Varosha, this book demonstrates that how we discuss and depict urban decline is intimately connected to the histories, economic forces, power structures and communities of a given city, as well as to conflicting visions for its future.’

Here’s what the geographer and urban explorer Bradley L. Garrett said about it:

The Dead City is an elegantly argued and lacerating insight into our contemporary collective ‘ruin lust.’ The book binds together stunning images and carefully crafted prose in an elegy to ruin aesthetics, moving adroitly between critical commentary to personal experience and propelling the reader into unexpected introspection.’

To order a hardback copy of the book, with an exclusive 30% discount on the retail price, simply order online here and enter the discount code AN2 when prompted (see the flier below). The book is also available to order as a Kindle version here.


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