This comprehensive survey systematically explores the dynamic historic and contemporary interface between Mexico and the United States along the shared 1,954-mile international land boundary. Now fully updated and revised, the book provides an overview of the history of the region and traces the economic cycles and social movements from the 1880s through the second decade of the twenty-first century. The border region shares characteristics of both nations while maintaining an internal social and economic coherence that transcends its divisive international boundary. The authors conclude with an in-depth analysis of key contemporary issues. These include industrial development and manufacturing, bilateral trade, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, rapid urbanization, border culture, population and migration issues, environmental crisis and climate change, Native Americans, cooperation and conflict at the border, drug trafficking and violence, the border wall and security, populist national leaders and the border, and the Covid-19 pandemic at the border. They also place the border in its global context, examining it as a region caught between the developed and developing world and highlighting the continued importance of borders in a rapidly globalizing world. Richly illustrated with photographs, maps, charts, and up-to-date statistical tables, this book is an invaluable resource for all those interested in borderlands and U.S.-Mexican relations.
Paul Ganster is professor of history and director of the Institute for Regional Studies of the Californias at San Diego State University. Kimberly Collins is professor of public administration and executive director of the William and Barbara Leonard Transportation Center at California State University, San Bernardino.
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Illustrations and Tables
1 Distinguishing Characteristics and Early History: Frontier, Borderlands, and Border Region
The Colonial Period: Life on a New World Frontier
From Frontier to Borderlands
Conflict between the United States and Mexico
Early Border Phenomena
2 Booms and Busts on the Border: Economic Development, 1880s–1920s
The First Border Boom, 1880–1910
The Border Economy during the Mexican Revolution
Prohibition on the Border
Early Free Trade
3 Life on the Border: 1880s–1910
Causes of the Mexican Revolution
The Social Character of the Revolution in the Mexican North
The Revolutionary Period on the U.S. Side of the Border: Transboundary Population Movements during the Revolution, Prohibition, and the Depression
4 Booms and Busts on the Border: The Great Depression and World War II
The Great Depression
World War II
The Bracero Program
5 Economic Trends since 1950: Legacies of War and a Globalizing Economy 1
The Border Economy Comes of Age
Mexican Government Policy and the Border: PRONAF and BIP—the Maquiladoras
The U.S. Border Economy
6 The Consequences of Rapid Growth in the Border Region: Social and Cultural Change since the 1940s
Population and Migration
The Impact of Migration on Sending Communities
7 Border Issues in U.S.-Mexican Relations: Boundary, Environment, Health, and Native Americans
The Elusive Boundary
The Environment under Siege
Public Health Issues
Native Americans and the Border
8 Border Issues in U.S.-Mexican Relations: Drug Trafficking, Security, Migration, NAFTA, and Transborder Cooperation
Trade and the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement
9 The Border and National Politics
The United States
Migration and the Impact on Local Communities
United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement
Border in the Time of a Pandemic
Developing Twenty-First-Century Border Institutions
About the Authors
This fourth edition of The U.S.-Mexican Border Today by Ganster and Collins offers a compelling, readable account of both contemporary and historical issues related to the southwest border. Importantly, the authors' exploration of historical issues aligns with the latest scholarship in the field. After a quick overview of the North American Southwest in chapter 1, they summarize issues related to industrialism and the border at the turn of the 20th century and the ramifications of so-called progressive social changes prior to the Great Depression in chapters 2–4. Ganster and Collins hit a nice stride in chapters 5 and 6, grounding the region's globalization in mid-20th-century issues, which sets the stage for thorough discussions of contemporary issues ranging from public health, the environment, Natives' concerns, and border security to national politics. Perhaps most significantly, the authors examine the border from both sides, integrating Mexican and American perspectives on the region's history and its current problems. This volume stands as a rare transnational analysis of the border that takes historical issues up to the present day, providing a readable and engaging analysis that is accessible to students. Highly recommended. General readers through faculty; professionals.
The U. S.-Mexican Border Today is without peer among books about this border. It stands unsurpassed in its comprehensive assessment of social, economic, political, and environmental conditions that have shaped this region in the past and in the present. For two decades, I have depended on this work to inform my students and to contextualize my own border research. This new fourth edition is the most engaging and insightful volume yet.
Simply the indispensable one-volume introduction to the U.S.-Mexico border region and must-reading for students and scholars alike. All the essential themes of borderlands policy and scholarship are covered: trade, urbanization, immigration, natural resources and environmental concerns, demographic and cultural hybridity, and the complexities of binational diplomacy in a region where survival and prosperity are fundamentally intertwined and interdependent. Crisply written and scrupulously documented, the book conveys a sophisticated understanding of the challenges and opportunities that attend to building binational engagement advancing the border region’s development, and the vital importance to both countries of doing so.
A site of important developments and debates, the U.S.-Mexico border has drawn great interest in recent years. All interested readers definitely should start with this clear and informative introduction. I have taught with it for many years, and I appreciate now having this up-to-date edition that puts recent controversies into the big historical, social, and cultural picture.
4/29/22, Choice: This book was featured in a roundup of top community college titles for the month of April 2022.
-Thoroughly updated and enhanced to reflect recent scholarship and emerging topics of importance.
-Includes augmented social, demographic, and economic statistical materials as well as new maps, photographs, and charts.
-A new chapter analyzes U.S. and Mexican federal policy and the border, migration and border impacts, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, border leaders, the pandemic of 2020 and the border, and developing twenty-first-century institutions.