The vast stretch of mostly arid lands and deserts that makes up the border between Mexico and the United States is not only one of the longest international boundaries in the world, setting apart two entirely different countries for more than two thousand miles, it is the backdrop for a seemingly endless series of major binational news stories. Witness the headline-grabbing attention garnered by NAFTA and the global economy; the assembly plants labeled saviors of the Mexican poor; the accounts applauding the capture of Mexican drug lords; and the columns upon columns devoted to stories about illegal immigration. Nowhere else does a poor, Third World country, like Mexico, share a common border with a wealthy, powerful neighbor del otro lado (on the other side). Here, as one goes, so goes the other.On the Rim of Mexico: Encounters of the Rich and Poor addresses the ties and asymmetries across the Mexico-U.S. border, from Tijuana/San Diego to Matamoros/Brownsville. Based on author Ram?duardo Ruiz's extensive research, travels, remembrances, and first-hand interviews with the people on the Mexican side, the book probes the history, economics, and customs which have shaped this region today. While the author considers many timely issues (the impact of drug trafficking, legal and illegal immigration, assembly plants and the global economy, and the ecological disaster in the making), the book is also an examination of the borderlands themselves: what they are, how they came to be, and salient aspects of life in this region of the world. Moreover, it is an exploration of binational themes. For Mexicans who live and die next door to the almighty Uncle Sam, nearly everything has a binational ring?even personal identity. On the Rim of Mexico is a moving portrait of the people, places, and issues which make-up border life today.
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About the Author
Ramón Eduardo Ruiz is professor emeritus of Latin American history at the University of California at San Diego. In 1998, President Clinton conferred upon Professor Ruiz the National Humanities Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Table of Contents
Mexicans and Their Neighbors * The Shifty Peso * Asymmetry * Black Legend * The Global Economy * The Disparate Society * Identity Binational Dimensions * Unwelcome Strangers * La Migra * La Maldicin * Man Against Nature * Dependency