Marxist geographer David Harvey opened his 2016 lecture at Harvard with a fact: between 2011 and 2013 China
consumed 50 percent more cement than the United States
had in the entire twentieth century. In Abstract from the Concrete
, he asks why.
Spiraling outward—geographically and materially—Harvey travels from the building industry in China to the foreclosed housing market in the United States to the automobile industry in São Paolo and back again. The why emerges as a direct result of “anti-value,” of capital in crisis—intrinsic, he contends, to capital and capital cities today.
This book is part of “The Incidents” series, based on events that occurred at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design between 1936 and tomorrow.
David Harvey is a Distinguished Professor of Anthropology & Geography at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY).