Book Review: Cutting for Sign!

I’m Back! Bev and I spent the Memorial Day weekend with her Mom and Dad, sister and two brothers and some of their families in a four bedroom house perched above the Pacific in Manzanita. We ate, laughed, ate, walked on the beach, ate, hot-tubbed, ate and drank. We walked into Manzanita to make reservations at the seafood restaurant and paused at a Friends of the Library book sale. Ever since I read The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, I have wanted to see pictures of Barcelona. I found a little book, Spain, published by Panorama-Books, 6 3/4 square by 1/4 inch, that contains 30 color plates. Just exactly what I was looking for.

I also found a book written and autographed by William Langewiesche: Cutting for Sign, One man’s journey along the US-Mexican border, published in 1993. In some places the wall that separates the two coutries is a man made wall that funnels people and trade, and is relatively easy to control; but mostly it is a sieve, and the border patrol can be overwhelmed. I read about Tecate, Mexicali, Nogales, Ciudad Juarez and Ojinaga that swell with disease up against the border. I read about the desparate struggle for existence on the wages paid in the maquiladoras. And, I read about smuggling, of people and drugs. This book was written in 1993. I kept thinking has anything changed? Is the US any better 12 years later at stemming the flow? Has the poverty and pollution on the Mexican side gotten better or worse? After reading this book, I am not optomistic.

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