Review: Why Walls Won’t Work: Repairing the U.S.-Mexico Divide
April 2013 | Geographical Review.


The following is an excerpt from the book review by Reece Jones in the Geographical Review, April 19, 2013

WHY WALLS WON’T WORK: Repairing the US-Mexico Divide

Over the past decade Dear traveled the entire length of the 3,000-mile-long borderline on both sides. His photographs and on-the-ground observations are complemented with meticulously researched historical details about who passed through the borderland landscape.

What gives the book a depth and punch that is often lacking in other recent books about the U.S.-Mexico border is Dear’s decision to begin at the beginning. Rather than starting with the construction of the U.S.-Mexico wall … Dear goes back as far as archeological records allow to the first humans who inhabited the Americas. It provides perspective that demonstrates how recent, and rash, the current walled and securitized border really is. Dear also gives equal time to events on both sides of the border rather than privileging the U.S. perspective. He writes beautifully, and the style is designed to be serious but not in a way that will turn off more casual readers. …

With the broad historical sweep and the patience to tell those earlier stories first without rushing ahead to our walled and bordered present, this book could become the definitive history of the U.S.-Mexico border. It is certainly the best I have read.

For the full review, click here. [subscription required]