The Latin American Review of Books
Dying to Live: A Story of U.S. Immigration in an Age of Global Apartheidby Joseph Nevins
A compelling account of U.S. immigration and border enforcement told through the journey of one man who perished in California's Imperial Valley while trying to reunite with his wife and child in Los Angeles. At a time when Republicans and Democrats alike embrace increasingly militaristic border enforcement policies under the guise of security, and local
- LendMe LendMe™ Learn More
A compelling account of U.S. immigration and border enforcement told through the journey of one man who perished in California's Imperial Valley while trying to reunite with his wife and child in Los Angeles. At a time when Republicans and Democrats alike embrace increasingly militaristic border enforcement policies under the guise of security, and local governments around the country are taking matters into their own hands, Dying to Live offers a timely confrontation to such prescriptions and puts a human face on the rapidly growing crisis. Moreover, it provides a valuable perspective on the historical geography of U.S.-Mexico relations, and immigration and boundary enforcement, illustrating its profound impact on people's lives, and deaths. In the end, the author offers a provocative, human-rights-based vision of what must be done to stop the fatalities and injustices endured by migrants and their loved ones.
"…a powerful, multifaceted study of Mexican and Central American migration to the US that combines historical analysis with a graphic narrative account of the economic and social factors that perpetuate it…[Nevins] reminds us why we must tear down these artificial and illegitimate boundaries and allow migrants to find the same dream of a better life that so many Americans have had the privilege to live."—Gavin O'Toole, The Latin American Review of Books
"Dying to Live is a powerful examination of the messy politics and human consequences of US immigration policies. Joseph Nevins skillfully weaves the personal story of Julio César Gallegos, a migrant who died attempting to cross the US-Mexico boundary, together with detailed historical research to explore the boundary's ideological construction, the USA's 'race-class-nation hierarchy’, and the role of law in shaping Americans’ geographical imagination."
Nancy Hiemstra, Progress in Human Geography
"Nevins's book, thanks to excellent research and a nuanced application of theory, demonstrates not only professional excellence but also an ongoing commitment to justice and human rights. By calling the entire notion of a 'right to be here' into question, Dying to Live serves as a powerful antidote to nationalistic amnesia on the part of the U.S. public, which has been too willing to embrace a shortsighted version of U.S.-Mexican history. By analyzing enforcement in the space of the border, he has provided an extension of the concept of structural violence. Those of us living in border states, especially Arizona, owe Nevins our appreciation. He shows how one can analyze policy information in a way that clearly communicates how common racial constructions support and extend the state’s use of violence."—North American Congress on Latin America
Joseph Nevins authored Operation Gatekeeper: The Rise of the Illegal Alien and the Making of the U.S.-Mexico Boundary (Routledge, 2002), and A Not-So-Distant Horror (Cornell, 2005). His writings have appeared in the Boston Review, The Christian Science Monitor, and the International Herald Tribune.
The Latin American Review of Books
Gilda L. Ochoa
Ten years ago Julio CA©sar Gallegos, one of countless immigrants, attempted to reunite with his family in Los Angeles and died of dehydration while crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in California's Imperial Valley. In Dying to Live , Nevins not only tells Gallegos's story, but also presents the geographic, historical, and political context of the U.S-Mexico border. Gallegos's motivations, struggles, and sacrifices serve as examples throughout the book of both past and present social stratification, political hypocrisy, and "global apartheid." Including photographs and maps, the book details the history, policies, and economics that have driven and prevented Mexican migration to the United States. The social and economic links between the two countries are described, primarily in relation to the agricultural industry in the border states. The strength of this book lies in the wealth of research and information presented on the history and politics of the border regions of Mexico and California. Teens will not only find the author's information valuable, but will also revel in the sources presented in the bibliography. However, researchers looking for insight into migration through Mexico from other Latin American countries will not find much information in this title. The scholarly tone and depth of the material make this book best suited for advanced readers and researchers.-Lynn Rashid, Marriots Ridge High School, Marriotsville, MD
What People are Saying About This
Meet the Author
Joseph Nevins authored Operation Gatekeeper: The Rise of the Illegal Alien and the Making of the U.S.-Mexico Boundary (Routledge, 2002), and A Not-so-distant Horror: Mass Violence in East Timor (Cornell University Press, 2005). His writings have appeared in numerous journalistic publications, including The Boston Review, The Christian Science Monitor, CounterPunch, and the International Herald. Mizue Aizeki is a documentary photographer. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including The Wall Street Journal, ColorLines, L.A. Weekly, The Nation, The Progressive, and Z Magazine. She has also exhibited her work in several venues, including the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in San Francisco.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
This is the best book I've ever read on the U.S.-Mexico border, and U.S. immigration in general. It does a great job of putting what takes place along the border in a global context, while grounding it in the real-life story of one migrant and his family and the specifics of the histories of particular places. I cannot recommend this book enough.