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Cutting for Sign: One Man's Journey Along the U.S.-Mexican Border - Softcover

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9780679759638: Cutting for Sign: One Man's Journey Along the U.S.-Mexican Border
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The border between the United States and Mexico extends 1,951 miles.  Among the people who live along it are a migrant laborer huddled in a makeshift camp, a Chicano cowpuncher, a Pima Indian who makes his living tracking drug smugglers across the desert, and the millions crowded along the border in Mexicali.
 
In this beautifully written, unerringly insightful book, William Langewiesche allows us to see this boundary in all its political, moral, and emotional complexity.  Whether he is patrolling the border with officers of the U.S. Immigration Service or talking with the desperate men and women who cross it every day, Langewiesche is always engaged in what trackers call “cutting the sign” reading the marks that human beings have made on this contested land and decoding the meaning they hold for the rest of us.
 
”Spellbinding. . . . The reportage [is] high art . . . for Langewiesche painstakingly uncovers the connections between elusive clues as he searches out the border and its people.”—Boston Globe

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About the Author:
William Langewiesche is the author of seven previous books: Cutting for SignSahara UnveiledInside the Sky, American GroundThe Outlaw Sea, The Atomic Bazaar, and, most recently, Fly By Wire. He is the international editor for Vanity Fair.
From Kirkus Reviews:
From frequent Atlantic contributor Langewiesche--a former pilot who worked the Texas-Mexico border--a terse, clear, tough- minded account of life on both sides of the line. (The title-- jargon used by customs officials on Arizona's O'odham Indian reservation--means searching for and reading the tracks of immigrants and drug-runners.) Langewiesche begins and ends his journey in the tense little Texan border town of Marfa (named, improbably, for a character in The Brothers Karamazov), where he lived for years. In between, he travels the line from Tijuana in the west all the way east to Brownsville/Matamoros on the Gulf of Mexico. He describes the waves of immigrants coming across to San Diego; the futile efforts of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to slow the traffic north; INS racism and brutality; the corruption, on both sides of the border, of law-enforcement officials protecting and profiting from the drug trade; the horrendous working and living conditions in Juarez and Matamoros as US business invests heavily in maquilas, the assembly plants where Mexico workers make less in a day than US workers make in an hour. Langewiesche sketches memorable portraits of unsung heroes and saints, Mexican and American, working to protect the rights of ``illegales'' in California or of fellow workers--mostly women, mostly young--in the maquilas. A little more Mexican history and culture, a greater sense of what's destroyed back home when Oaxaca villagers pick up and move north, would have given tragic depth to Langewiesche's report. Still, the author shows us the appalling human reality behind business-page slogans and shibboleths--NAFTA, the global economy, the free market--and he makes the border itself look as arbitrary, strange, and inevitable as the Berlin Wall in its day. And of equal geopolitical significance. Compassionate, risk-taking reporting: timely and valuable. -- Copyright 1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: new. Paperback. The border between the United States and Mexico extends 1,951 miles. Among the people who live along it are a migrant laborer huddled in a makeshift camp, a Chicano cowpuncher, a Pima Indian who makes his living tracking drug smugglers across the desert, and the millions crowded along the border in Mexicali. In this beautifully written, unerringly insightful book, William Langewiesche allows us to see this boundary in all its political, moral, and emotional complexity. Whether he is patrolling the border with officers of the U.S. Immigration Service or talking with the desperate men and women who cross it every day, Langewiesche is always engaged in what trackers call cutting the sign reading the marks that human beings have made on this contested land and decoding the meaning they hold for the rest of us. Spellbinding. . . . The reportage [is] high art . . . for Langewiesche painstakingly uncovers the connections between elusive clues as he searches out the border and its people.Boston Globe With the demise of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain, there remains no more potent--or notorious--political border than the 1,951-mile division between the US and Mexico. Langewiesche shows us how a simple line--a legalism across the land--is also a mirror that reflects our ideals and fears. Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. Seller Inventory # 9780679759638

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