William T Vollmann

Language: English

Pages: 1200

ISBN: 0143118404

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

From the author of Europe Central, a journalistic tour de force along the Mexican-American border.

For generations of migrant workers, Imperial Country has held the promise of paradise and the reality of hell. It sprawls across a stirring accidental sea, across the deserts, date groves and labor camps of Southeastern California, right across the border into Mexico. In this eye-opening book, William T. Vollmann takes us deep into the heart of this haunted region, exploring polluted rivers and guarded factories and talking with everyone from Mexican migrant workers to border patrolmen. Teeming with patterns, facts, stories, people and hope, this is an epic study of an emblematic region.

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Gordian knot and buy Lower California outright; our dear friend Harry Chandler has already been indicted for and acquitted of seeking to alter the government of Baja California. But no one undoes our ditch. Therefore, we’d better dig it deeper! After a shootout between two Mexican smugglers and Customs officers (Inspector Norman G. Ross was killed by an apprehended alien . . . Inspector Frank G. Goddell was shot and wounded by an autoist), Los Angeles sends out the following directive to

themselves in motions much slower than those of their own chickens. Dogs barked. A little girl wearing only shorts moved a chair under a tree. We went through a muddy slippery yard past more little children; we passed by a fence, descended three tire-steps, paralleled another residential delineation comprised of old bedspring mattresses, and there in the doorway of the next house a woman said: I born in Mexcali. That’s where I born. They have seven kids and I’m the youngest one. We were in

citriculture, defeated by Florida’s, may well be as ghastly white as a trailer park’s rooftops under floodlights on Montclair; but never mind; West Covina has a Citrus Street . . . “THIS WAS THE GRAPEFRUIT COUNTRY” But Imperial, as you may recall, isNO WINTER -- NO SNOW NO CROP FAILURES Therefore, we need have no fear that our lands will not become better and better as the years go by. In 1914, the Southern Pacific Railroad, possibly in alliance with the Chandler Syndicate, puts on

Don Carlos? I asked a rancher in Morelos.—Is it getting better or worse? Worse, said the sleepy ejidatario. Why? All of the funding and the loans from the government come from Mexico City and sometimes it takes months and months. Was it better under the PRI?308 No. The political parties back then, they didn’t help the people. I took these replies to mean that his life, like mine, was simply continuing in its customary state of imperfection. When I asked whether NAFTA had affected his

of them who were Mexican—UC Berkeley. Bancroft Library. Paul S. Taylor papers. Carton 4. Typescript: “In the fields, by Paul S. Taylor & Anne Loftis,” n.d. (another slightly different version in the same folder reads: “Revised Sept. 15, 1981”), p. 15. Edith Karpen’s memories—Based on an interview in January 2004. Re: Helen Marston, Dean Hutchinson writes in his notes (sheet 12): “Helen Marsten [sic] San Diego furnished $1,500 bail for Hoffman & Emma Cutter agitators. Also $500 for Mrs. Johnson

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