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Drug War Zone: Frontline Dispatches from the Streets of El Paso and Juárez (The William and Bettye Nowlin Series in Art, History, and Culture of the Western Hemisphere) Paperback – October 15, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Howard Campbell is Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is the co-editor of the University of Texas Press Inter-America Series.
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Product Details

  • Series: The William and Bettye Nowlin Series in Art, History, and Culture of the Western Hemisphere
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press; 3rd edition (October 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 029272179X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292721791
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The US Mexico Border is one of the most unique among anthropological spaces. Apart from being bi-national, it is enormously complex in the variety and interplay of cultures and social classes. The area, now affected by a drug war in Mexico, remains "safe" on the US side and anarchic on the Mexcian side. Yet the communities of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez are deeply intertwined and inextricable. In this context, the author delves into the sub-cultures and groups that are part of the drug war. He interviews police officers, drug dealers, border patrol agents and a host of social actors who play out this complex and dangerous drama. The author spends a great deal of time framing the border context and then lets his subjects tell their stories. For those who want to see good anthropology in action, this is a great example. For others, who just want to try to understand what is going on in the trenches of the drug war, the book is indispensible.
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Format: Paperback
Campbell, Howard. Drug War Zone: Frontline Dispatches from the Streets of El Paso and Juárez. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2009. vi, 310.

Howard Campbell's Drug War Zone: Frontline Dispatches from the Streets of El Paso and Juárez is an ethnographic study which offers multiple points of view that elucidate the complexity of America's "War on Drugs" in relation to narcotics trafficking and violence on the U.S.-Mexico border. Presenting an eclectic array of voices, Campbell illustrates and connects the experiences and agendas of narcotics traffickers and addicts, law enforcement and military officials, and civil participants in various segments of society. Revealing the convergences and divergences between these diverse social groups, Campbell defines the Drug War Zone (DWZ) as a space of collusion and contestation in which drug traffickers and law enforcement conflict, connect, intersect, and interact globally and economically. He writes that the DWZ "is the transnational, fluid cultural space in which contending forces battle over the meaning, value, and control of drugs"(6). Within this space, Campbell brings out the hybridity within the "drug-antidrug" dichotomy by illuminating government officials' complicity with narcotics traffickers, revealing the DWZ as a space in which the two polar opposites merge and become the other through economically motivated negotiation and resistance at both the global and regional-El Paso-Juárez-levels.

Drug War Zone evidences the fallacy of the "War on Drugs" by investigating the complicity between capitalism and narcotics trafficking. Using pseudonyms to represent his subjects, Campbell deconstructs the paradigms that justify U.S.
Read more ›
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By tim on December 27, 2013
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when i read the preview for this book i expected something a little different.it was suppossed to be from the view of law enforcment and smugglers both but i thought it would be large scale smugglers and cartel members telling their stories.instead it was small scale criminals and street dealers.i was very dissapointed.they should have been more clear in their description.
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I was very disappointed with the book, in fact I quit reading it near the end. I have been reading a lot about the Drug Cartels and this book is only about small time kids getting involved in drugs at an early age. I do not suggest this book to anyone.
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Format: Paperback
I didn't think this book was interesting at all - ethnographic or not. Alma Guillermoprieto is a much better writer and has written some terrifically compelling pieces about drug wars along the US-Mexico border.
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By fernando on November 16, 2014
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Great transaction smooth delivery, would do it again!
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Did not enjoy the book as much as I expected. Seem to focus too much on the individuals involved. For me it was hard to follow the story. Never finished the book.
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Completely compelling first person testimony.
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