- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Little Brown (2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316010804
- ISBN-13: 978-0316010801
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 333 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#8,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #2 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Specific Demographics > Hispanic American Studies
- #9 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Public Affairs & Policy > Social Policy
- #11 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Emigration & Immigration
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The Devil's Highway: A True Story Paperback – 2004
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"In artful yet uncomplicated prose, Urrea captivatingly tells how a dozen men squeezed by to safety...Confident and full of righteous rage, Urrea's story is a well-crafted melange of first-person testimony, geographic history, cultural and economic analysis, poetry and an indictment of immigration policy."―Publishers Weekly
"A powerful, almost diabolical impression of the disaster and the exploitative conditions of the border. Urrea shows immigration policy on the human level."―Booklist
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Luis Alberto Urrea does so by revealing meaningful details about all the people in this tragic event. He displays the diverse backgrounds of the Mexicans crossing the border--giving a visceral understanding or where they were actually and metaphorically coming from. The book might have stopped there with an emotional story of their pain and suffering and their appalling ignorance of the desert (many of the men had come from the lush wet tropics and had no idea of the importance of simple things like wearing a hat or not wearing black pants). But, to his credit, the author goes beyond that and presents background on all the players: the border patrol, the local residents who are plagued by problems resulting from people walking across the border, and the others involved in this dangerous and expensive activity. In sometimes poetic phrases we learn about the desert, the heat, stages of death by heat and thirst. The result is a realization of the true tragic quality of the illegal immigration problem. Everyone involved in this story labored under misconceptions or gross ignorance that led to a terrible outcome. Worse, there seems no clear path toward stopping or even tamping down the problem. All you can say after reading the book is you have a much better grasp of the issues facing the parties near the border. That may not be enough, but it is something worthwhile.
Now I️ will need to research and study why citizens of Mexico from these small villages are so poor they risk crossing. Just way too sad. Urrea gives enlightening statistics on correcting the false information about how much it costs to absorb “illegals” into the USA.
Read this book. Every 14.8 seconds, somebody dies crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, and this fascination with sealing our border has created spaces of death and loss. This book gives an earnest picture of one such space, one such time.
Thus book will challenge you long after you finish reading.