The Dangerous Divide

The Dangerous Divide
The Dangerous Divide

The Dangerous Divide

Peril and Promise on the US-Mexico Border
By Peter Eichstaedt


256 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Mobipocket, EPUB, PDF, Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $16.99 (US $16.99) (CA $22.99)

ISBN 9781613738306

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (Apr 2017)


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Since the attacks of 9/11, the United States has steadily ramped up security along the US-Mexico border, transforming America's legendary Southwest into a frontier of fear. Veteran journalist Peter Eichstaedt roams this fabled region from Tucson, Arizona, to El Paso, Texas, bringing readers face-to-face with the victims, power players, and personalities that have riveted US attention on border security. By exploring the illicit paths of guns, money, drugs, and people as they flow back and forth across the US-Mexico border, Eichstaedt sheds light on the policies that contribute significantly to violence, abuse, and death—what most see as only Mexico's problems. He shares the eye-opening stories of migrants, desperate for work or to be reunited with family, who risk arrest and deportation by attempting to cross multiple times; accompanies the border patrol on a nighttime ride as immigrants are caught, then follows them through the system as they are jailed and deported; talks to humanitarians who are technically breaking the law by transporting lost, dehydrated migrants; and spends time with a Mexican coffee-growing cooperative whose fair-pay ethos eliminates the need for its growers to look to the US for a decent wage.            Presenting humane alternatives to fear and steel fences and offering solutions to the immigration crisis,The Dangerous DivideexploresAmerica's tortured relations with Mexico, ultimately focusing on hopeful measures and providing a rational and workable way out of the border and immigration problem.


"The author’s vignettes of his interactions with a diverse cast of characters are insightful and engrossing." —Publishers Weekly

"The author bolsters his astute reportage with interviews with migrants desperate for American opportunities, controversial border control crusaders, politicians and law enforcement agents. He also provides a fascinating tour of Tucson's Border Patrol offices and their complex surveillance of various ports of entry." —Kirkus Reviews

"Colorado journalist Peter Eichstaedt, who has spent more than 20 years reporting on conflicts across the globe, turns his sharp eyes on the United States-Mexico border with an expertly reported, exquisitely human on-the-ground look at our country's complex immigration issues." —5280 Magazine

"This is a provocative and engaging book—a useful read for anyone seeking to understand current challenges and opportunities along our southern border." —New York Journal of Books

"In this provocative and engaging book, Peter Eichstaedt has given us an insightful and fascinating on-the-ground account of how the US-Mexico divide has turned into an increasingly militarized frontier of fear." —Peter Andreas, author of Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America and Border Games: Policing the U.S.-Mexico Divide

"Peter Eichstaedt brings the wise perspective of an experienced international journalist, long-time resident of the Southwest, and critical humanist to this fine account of the U.S.-Mexico border, a complex region much neglected or misunderstood by U.S. politicians and opinion makers." — Howard Campbell, professor of anthropology, University of Texas-El Paso

"In The Dangerous Divide, Peter Eichstaedt brilliantly illuminates the strange world of the U.S.-Mexican border, a world inhabited by ruthless drug traffickers and gunrunners; desperate yet hopeful migrants; politicians of all stripes and views; multiple layers of law enforcement; bigots, paranoiacs, and nativists; and, of course, lots of ordinary folks.  By exploring these people's realities, Eichstaedt demonstrates how a long legacy of often-willful misunderstanding has made two neighboring nations into perennial strangers, and rendered rational solutions elusive.  A must-read for anyone hoping to understand the significance of our southern border." —Timothy J. Henderson, distinguished research professor and department chair, Department of History, Auburn University Montgomery

"Having narrated conflict from Afghanistan to Somalia to the Congo, Peter Eichstaedt brings a global perspective to the challenges and opportunities along the US-Mexico border. A thoughtful and balanced read."  - David J. Danelo, field research director, Foreign Policy Research Institute, and author, The Border: Exploring the U.S.-Mexican Divide

Author Biography

Peter Eichstaedt is a veteran journalist who has reported from locations worldwide, including <!--?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /-->Afghanistan, Albania, Somalia, the Sudans, Uganda, Kenya, eastern DR Congo, eastern Europe, and the Caucasus.