Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow in The Village Voice:
As Hurricane Katrina revealed, these days natural disasters have plenty of human accomplices. Before Katrina flooded the Gulf Coast and the headlines, another “natural” menace—avian flu—had begun to surface in the media. Since 1997, the influenza strain H5N1 has killed dozens in Asia and forced the mass slaughter of chickens. The virus is, as urban-theory star Mike Davis tells the Voice, “the chief bioterrorist in our midst,” poised to explode into a sequel to the 1918–1919 flu epidemic that wiped out up to 5 percent of humanity. In The Monster at Our Door, Davis provides an ominous account of the threat and advises against chalking it up to the whims of Mother Nature. Through dense urban poverty, the Tysonization of poultry farms, and the dithering of government, he argues, we have created this monster.