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Book Reviews jargon to describe these processes, and the few terms he does use that some readers might not understand, he defines right away. Never have I seen terms like proletarianization explained so clearly and succinctly. Brown’s masterful command of the subject and his ability to distill a broad range of material into accessible prose and meaningful conclusions make for a book that both specialists and students will appreciate for many years to come. He forces us to ask not only what Potosı́ was worth, but what it cost. The struggle continues. Kris Lane Department of History Tulane University SMUGGLERS, BROTHELS, AND TWINE: HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES ON CONTRABAND AND VICE IN NORTH AMERICA’S BORDERLANDS. By Elaine Carey and Andrae M. Marak (eds.). Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2011, p. 240, $55.00. This short and lively essay collection stands at the crossroads of two avenues of historical inquiry. At once concerned with North American borderlands history and transnational crime, the book will be most useful to readers who seek to understand the ways in which those who lived on either side of a border broke many of the rules that existed in their local areas. Readers whose interest is more in the political economy of the legal regimes that bordered each other, whether Canada and the United States, or the United States and Mexico, will have to work a bit harder, but here too these essays offer some small repayment for the effort. The editors, Elaine Carey and Andrae Marak, do a fine job of briefly setting up this collection in a crisply written introduction. They explain their interest in social issues that can be illuminated through studying various acts of cross-border illegal activity. Carey and Marak also provide a road map for their readers; they group the volume’s nine substantive essays into two sections. Finally, there is a quick afterward, written by anthropologists Joshua McC. Heyman and Howard Campbell, which at once endeavors to explain the authors’ findings and suggest some possibilities for additional research. The book’s first section, “Establishing Borders,” considers the impact that transnational crime, such as human or liquor smuggling, had as it generated local responses from those on the side of the border where the crime took place. Local responses were often just that; the state actions were rarely federal, which must reveal something about the national governments that officially controlled the border. The authors might have spent more time on this very clear issue of political economy, as well as on the relation between producers and consumers. The four essays here, on widely disparate topics, look at the ways in which individuals subverted border demarcations to accomplish their ends. Robert Chao Romero uses 107 The Latin Americanist, September 2012 excellent historical evidence to create a readable narrative; it illuminates the routes that Chinese migrants used as they were smuggled into the United States from Mexico during the period of the Chinese Exclusion Act. He also tantalizingly connects this movement to a larger global human smuggling operation. Brenden Rensink, writing about the Cree who saw themselves as a trans-border nation (at least between 1880–85), details the ways in which the Cree’s migratory behavior did not win them friends on either side of the 49th parallel, which separated Canada and the US. Though presented more as a study in racial or cultural differences, there may be more here than meets the eye, especially since property rights strongly figure in the calculations that states made about when to assert their authority. Sterling Evans describes the ways in which US twine (used to bind wheat) was smuggled into Canada early in the twentieth century. George T. Diaz provides a glimpse into what happened during US Prohibition at the Mexican border. His colorful essay considers more the illicit behavior of the relationship between the producers, consumers, and distributors of tequila, rather than exploring the relationship in terms of political economy. The book’s second section, “Consolidating National Space,” considers the ways in which states endeavored to exert more control over those who transgressed their borders. Holly Karibo describes the ways in which Canadians responded to those Americans who regularly crossed the border...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1557-203X
Print ISSN
1557-2021
Pages
pp. 107-109
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-25
Open Access
No
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