A city awash in garbage; rats skittering through heaps of rotting debris; disease spreading through choked waterways; citizens threading through piles of filth — urban nightmare or profiteer’s dream come true? Benjamin Miller’s panoramic view of New York’s garbage takes us from the earliest antebellum collectors, to 19th- century barons trading in fertilizers and explosives, to the current feuding bureaucrats and environmentalists. Fat of the Land covers social and scientific theories of class and disease, in the process offering a richly textured history of urban development. The book reveals for the first time the plotting of power broker Robert Moses that gave birth to the controversial Fresh Kills landfill and examines the curious logic behind its untimely end. Fat of the Land brings to light an often hidden subject, assessing who gains and who loses in the endless battle over garbage.
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