Border Odyssey: Travels along the U.S./Mexico Divide

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U.S.-Mexico Relations: CQR

Cowboy Priests The Hand-Drawn Ferry Prohibition Bar Border Walker The Road to Eagle Pass Border Ambassador The Last Stay at Del Rio Seminole Canyon Braceros in Murder City Fort Davis and the Buffalo Soldiers National Park on the Line Pancho Villa and the Pink Store Smoke on the Apacheria A Grandmother Mourns at the Wall Fences and Neighbors Ground Zero of the Border Crisis Altar and Sacrifice Phoenix Rising Tohono Sacred Peak and Desert Deaths Campesinos Sin Fronteras The Wall of Shame and Entrepreneurship Graves of Unknown Farmworkers Desert View Tower and the X-Men Walking Alone through Friendship Park Show More.

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Ranching on the vast scale that Texas is famous for actually happened at King Ranch, Ranching on the vast scale that Texas is famous for actually happened at King Ranch, a sea of grass that ultimately spread its pastures to countries around the globe under the fifty-year leadership of Bob Kleberg. This absorbing biography, written View Product. Border Bandits. The southern frontier is one of the most emotionally charged zones in the United States, The southern frontier is one of the most emotionally charged zones in the United States, second only to its historical predecessor and partner, the western frontier.

Though they span many genres, border films share common themes, trace the mood swings Cartucho, And My Mother's Hands. Nellie Campobello, a prominent Mexican writer and novelist of the Revolution, played an important role Charles Olson. Land-hungry gringos crossed the border as they pleased, and usurped all the land they could—often dragging slaves trafficked from the antebellum South.

If anyone complained, American military muscle backed up its countrymen. Thus the entire Southwest—Texas and California and everything in between—passed from Mexico to America as spoils of war. Ever since, America has determined the terms of the relationship.

Mexico remains a defeated country. Thompson Jr. These two books are starkly different, one the work of a social scientist and the other a travelogue by a documentarian. Broughton's study is ethnographic and rigorous, yet relatable to the reader, while his exhaustive research provides compelling explanations for what he shows us. Thompson shoehorns advocacy into his book, producing an awkward work uneven in tone and uncertain of its genre—not scholarly enough to sustain an argument, too wonky to spin a yarn.

Thompson, a self-declared "farmer-turned-activist" who teaches at Duke University, takes John Steinbeck as his inspiration, and some of his finest scenes do make plain the human misery involved in U. In his journey along the border, he is often overcome by the fate of illegal migrants.

Border Odyssey

He watches a group of 75 chained men and women contritely pad into a courtroom, wearing the rumpled clothes they were arrested in, to be lectured by a judge in an unfamiliar language; they beg for a mercy the court is prohibited from granting. On the Mexican side of the border in Nogales, he watches the arrival of a bus of disoriented deportees, left to fend for themselves in a rough and unwelcoming city.

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    Thompson spends a lot of time at memorials, shrines, and anonymous plots for those killed by the crossing. He dedicates a full chapter to an encounter with an elderly woman at the border wall maintaining a shrine for her grandson, who had been killed by a Border Patrol officer just the week before while climbing the fence into Mexico. He was a U. But Thompson fails to note the 48 pounds of marijuana in his truck that prompted his flight to the border, and downplays the fact that one of the man's comrades on the Mexican side threw large rocks at the Border Patrol officer.

    His inspirations may be literary, but his goal is didactic, and he uses his tales from the road to smuggle in lessons on illegal migration. Thompson has produced a dissertation and a documentary on migrant agricultural labor, and heads a Gates Foundation initiative on the border.

    Fler böcker av Dr Charles D Thompson

    He commands attention only when the travelogue ends and the serious policy discussion begins. He takes sides: Migrant workers are his victim-heroes. And the moral facts are on his side. The 12 million migrants who have evaded the legal immigration system work on quasi-feudal terms, receiving a fraction of American wages, working dangerous and dirty jobs such as picking vegetables in fields watered with chicken blood and feces.

    Those who get caught—over , annually—are wrung through a prison-like detention and deportation system that breaks up families and disrupts lives. Broughton, the sociologist, threatens to exhaust with his meticulous approach, factual down to the last detail, but his rigorous ways—synthesizing dozens of specialized papers from a variety of fields—pay off, producing a readable account of the struggles of individual workers linked to a serious examination of the forces that displaced them.

    He goes where he needs to, looking for answers from villages in rural Mexico to McMansion suburbs of Las Vegas. Photo: Oxford University Press. His subject is a tale of two cities: Galesburg, Illinois, whose former Maytag refrigerator factory is now a pile of rubble, and Reynosa, Mexico, which manufactures the appliances now.

    The Observer Review: Border Odyssey, by Charles D. Thompson Jr.

    Galesburg grew in tandem with Appliance City, a gargantuan factory that operated almost continuously from its founding in as a plant beating plowshares until , when it shut down, eliminating 1, jobs. The town's workers treated the announcement of the plant's closure—which occurred when profits were up 48 percent—as a catastrophe.

    Wall Street thought it a swell business move and rewarded Maytag with a seven percent bump in stock price. In Reynosa, a border town on the Rio Grande, its new workforce of non-union Mexicans, mostly displaced peasants, have fewer benefits, weaker job security, and are paid less than 10 percent of the American wage. Broughton provides both the grand sweep of historical context and intimate glimpses into individual lives. Galesburg reached its peak population in and remained a bastion of the industrial middle class.


    With the plant closure, workers expecting lifetime tenure were given notice to find new jobs. Their stories are mainly of downward mobility—anxious planning and re-training followed by a scramble for work in an area hollowed out by deindustrialization.

    Before the Border: The Immigrant Odyssey across Mexico

    The decline of Galesburg is only half of the story. Some may see the plant closure as a market triumph, as spoiled, slothful union workers are replaced by those who savor the chance to ditch village life for a steady paycheck. Reynosa has boomed, and is now a thrumming mill of activity with some international plants collectively employing over 75, workers—more than twice the entire population of Galesburg. Local boosters swell with pride at the growth, presenting their work as almost philanthropic, providing destitute peasants with a livelihood for which they flock by the hundreds from the countryside.