Waiting for José: The Minutemen’s Pursuit of America

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9780691152158: Waiting for José: The Minutemen’s Pursuit of America

They live in the suburbs of Tennessee and Indiana. They fought in Vietnam and Desert Storm. They speak about an older, better America, an America that once was, and is no more. And for the past decade, they have come to the U.S. / Mexico border to hunt for illegal immigrants. Who are the Minutemen? Patriots? Racists? Vigilantes?


Harel Shapira lived with the Minutemen and patrolled the border with them, seeking neither to condemn nor praise them, but to understand who they are and what they do. Challenging simplistic depictions of these men as right-wing fanatics with loose triggers, Shapira discovers a group of men who long for community and embrace the principles of civic engagement. Yet these desires and convictions have led them to a troubling place.


Shapira takes you to that place--a stretch of desert in southern Arizona, where he reveals that what draws these men to the border is not simply racism or anti-immigrant sentiments, but a chance to relive a sense of meaning and purpose rooted in an older life of soldiering. They come to the border not only in search of illegal immigrants, but of lost identities and experiences.

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"Grab your night-vision goggles and your thermal scopes, and join Shapira as he sits with the Minutemen along the jagged Arizona-Mexico border. As the men wait for a José that might never come and yearn together for an America that is long gone--or perhaps, never was--we learn about the dispositions and desires of a group of people that has been consistently misunderstood and misrepresented. A captivating, theoretically inspired narrative in a refreshingly new sociological voice. This is ethnography at its best."--Javier Auyero, author of Patients of the State


"Waiting for José is an empathetic and beautifully written ethnography. It brings into sociological focus the stories of Americans whose patriotism and search for meaningful lives brings them to mount voluntary patrols against illegal immigrants on the U.S. / Mexico border. Media portrayals of these Minutemen are often mere cartoons; Harel Shapira fills out both the human picture and its larger social implications."--Craig Calhoun, director of the London School of Economics and Political Science


"This is a courageous book. Harel Shapira put himself in danger to dig out the story of the Minutemen; he shows a kind of ethical courage as well, by probing sympathetically their thoughts and feelings. His book reveals an 'Other America' whose disappointments and anger the rest of us need to understand. He helps us do this in prose worthy of George Orwell."--Richard Sennett, author of The Corrosion of Character


"Waiting for José is a haunting and important book about the activists who patrol the border between Mexico and the United States, hoping to save their country and redeem their own lives, too. Harel Shapira resists the urge to praise or blame the Minutemen for their campaign against 'illegal immigrants.' Instead he aims to understand how and why they've mobilized, and to explain what their movement means. Every page of this deeply affecting ethnography is on the mark."--Eric Klinenberg, author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone


"Waiting for José critically explores the lifeworlds of the Minuteman Project with care, subtlety, and charm. Shapira demythologizes the Minutemen, poking holes in depictions of them as angry xenophobes with loose triggers, and shows them as vulnerable, ageing men in search of meaning. This portrait of the Minutemen is ultimately a portrait of social isolation and alienation."--Shehzad Nadeem, author of Dead Ringers: How Outsourcing is Changing the Way Indians Understand Themselves


"Shapira has crafted a very readable, entertaining, and highly articulate work. He has a novelist's ability to describe situations, the physical environment, and the individuals in them, and a sociologist's training to be able to place his subjects in a broader sociohistorical landscape."--David C. Brotherton, coauthor of Banished to the Homeland: Dominican Deportees and Their Stories of Exile


About the Author:

Harel Shapira is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Texas, Austin.

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. They live in the suburbs of Tennessee and Indiana. They fought in Vietnam and Desert Storm. They speak about an older, better America, an America that once was, and is no more. And for the past decade, they have come to the U.S. / Mexico border to hunt for illegal immigrants. Who are the Minutemen? Patriots? Racists? Vigilantes? Harel Shapira lived with the Minutemen and patrolled the border with them, seeking neither to condemn nor praise them, but to understand who they are and what they do. Challenging simplistic depictions of these men as right-wing fanatics with loose triggers, Shapira discovers a group of men who long for community and embrace the principles of civic engagement. Yet these desires and convictions have led them to a troubling place. Shapira takes you to that place--a stretch of desert in southern Arizona, where he reveals that what draws these men to the border is not simply racism or anti-immigrant sentiments, but a chance to relive a sense of meaning and purpose rooted in an older life of soldiering. They come to the border not only in search of illegal immigrants, but of lost identities and experiences. Bookseller Inventory # AAU9780691152158

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. They live in the suburbs of Tennessee and Indiana. They fought in Vietnam and Desert Storm. They speak about an older, better America, an America that once was, and is no more. And for the past decade, they have come to the U.S. / Mexico border to hunt for illegal immigrants. Who are the Minutemen? Patriots? Racists? Vigilantes? Harel Shapira lived with the Minutemen and patrolled the border with them, seeking neither to condemn nor praise them, but to understand who they are and what they do. Challenging simplistic depictions of these men as right-wing fanatics with loose triggers, Shapira discovers a group of men who long for community and embrace the principles of civic engagement. Yet these desires and convictions have led them to a troubling place. Shapira takes you to that place--a stretch of desert in southern Arizona, where he reveals that what draws these men to the border is not simply racism or anti-immigrant sentiments, but a chance to relive a sense of meaning and purpose rooted in an older life of soldiering. They come to the border not only in search of illegal immigrants, but of lost identities and experiences. Bookseller Inventory # AAU9780691152158

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