Monday, August 20, 2018

Vanishing Frontiers (Andrew Selee)

Andrew Selee's Vanishing Frontiers discusses the relationship between the United States and Mexico and how the two countries have drawn closer in a time when the building of walls is talked about. Selee has a direct perspective on this, as he is an American who has spent much of the last twenty years living in Mexico.

From businesses (the bread you eat may be from a Mexican-based company) to entertainment to food, Mexico has become a stronger influence and economic force in American life over the past 50 years. Bridges were literally built to draw two border cities together while in another set of border cities, there is significant cooperation around law enforcement. Vanishing Frontiers talks about the impacts of American investment (and Mexican immigrants sending cash back south of the border) in improving the quality of life in Mexico, as well as how Americans of Mexican ancestry have returned to Mexico to start businesses, raise families, or retire due to a lower cost of living compared to here in America.

Vanishing Frontiers reads in large part like an advertisement for continuing to draw closer to Mexico. While the book goes to significant lengths to discuss the steps the two countries are taking to address problems of corruption and drug-related violence that plague Mexico, the book also stresses the many positives of what is going on in Mexico that we do not hear about from journalists. In an era when we tend to focus way too often on negative news coverage or shouting matches of pundits on television, it’s refreshing to read a reasonable discussion on the economic, political, and societal relationship between the United States and Mexico.