Thompson, professor of the practice of cultural anthropology and documentary studies, chronicles a journey along the entire U.S./Mexican border—all 1,969 miles from Boca Chica to Tijuana—and shifts the conversation away from danger and fear to the shared histories and aspirations that bind Mexicans and Americans despite the border walls.
Along the journey, five centuries of cultural history (indigenous, French, Spanish, Mexican, African American, colonist, and U.S.), wars, and legislation unfold. And through observation, conversation, and meditation, the book scopes the stories of the people and towns on both sides.
“My goal was to personalize this thing called the 'border' that … we’ve come to be so afraid of that we have built a wall to guard us from it,” Thompson tells the Tucson Weekly. A companion website offers an interactive map and resources for additional study.