Smugglers, Brothels, and Twine
Historical Perspectives on Contraband and Vice in North America’s Borderlands
By studying the historical flows of contraband and vice across North American borders, the contributors seek to bring a greater understanding of borderlanders, the actual agents of historical change who often remain on the periphery of most historical analyses that focus on the state or on policy.
To examine the political, economic, and social shifts resulting from the transnational movement of goods, people, and ideas, these contributions employ the analytical categories of race, class, modernity, and gender that underlie this evolution. Chapters focus on the ways power relations created opportunities for engaging in “deviance,” thus questioning the constructs of economic reality versus concepts of criminal behavior. Looking through the lens of transnational flows of contraband and vice, the authors develop a new understanding of nation, immigration, modernization, globalization, consumer society, and border culture.
“A terrific book on an important and timely topic—flows of contraband and vice across the US–Mexico and US–Canada borders. The empirically rich historical case studies are fascinating and engaging. The collective research involved is impressive.”—Peter Andreas, co-editor of Sex, Drugs, and Body Counts: The Politics of Numbers in Global Crime and Conflict
"This brief collection pleasantly surprises with its trenchant examination of the intersections of the study of vice and borders as well as with its broad thematic and geographic coverage."—Hispanic American Historical Review