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Award-winning journalist Tyche Hendricks has explored the U.S.-Mexico borderlands by car and by foot, on horseback, and in the back of a pickup truck. She has shared meals with border residents, listened to their stories, and visited their homes, churches, hospitals, farms, and jails. In this dazzling portrait of one of the least understood and most debated regions in the country, Hendricks introduces us to the ordinary Americans and Mexicans who live there—cowboys and Indians, factory workers and physicians, naturalists and nuns. A new picture of the borderlands emerges, and we find that this region is not the dividing line so often imagined by Americans, but is a common ground alive with the energy of cultural exchange and international commerce, burdened with too-rapid growth and binational conflict, and underlain with a deep sense of history.
Tyche Hendricks covered immigration and demographics for many years at the San Francisco Chronicle. She is an editor at KQED public radio and a lecturer at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley.
"There are other books dealing with life at the border, but none as intelligent, searching, objective or encompassing as Tyche Hendricks' vivid evocation of this region--its people, its landscape, its industry, its problems and its unique culture."—Peter Schrag, author of Not Fit for Society: Immigration and Nativism in America
"This vivid, evocative book made me think of the Robert Frost line, 'Something there is that doesn't love a wall.' Tyche Hendricks' multilayered portrait of the human communities that transcend the U.S.-Mexico border should remind us all of what an artificial thing barriers, fences and checkpoints are. Maybe, just maybe, someday we, like so much of western Europe, can do without them."—Adam Hochschild, author of Bury the Chains
"This is an ambitious undertaking and Hendricks excels, finding stories along the way that illustrate the clash between, within and along that nearly 2,000-mile stretch of territory. Her reporting illustrates that for many U.S.-Mexico border residents, the international bridge is something you cross on your way to visit family, shop for groceries, get to a doctor or work."—Macarena Del Rocio Hernandez, University of Houston
"Dear President Obama, next time you are at Camp David spend a couple of hours reading The Wind Doesn't Need a Passport. While the Health Care overhaul may well come to define your presidency, immigration will define the future of our country. In this marvelous book—rigorously grounded, smartly argued, beautifully crafted, Tyche Hendricks captures, in stories of biblical proportion, the contours of the magical line that at once unites us and divides us as Americans and as neighbors of our indispensable partner in the South. Ms. Hendricks's book, Mr. President, will remind you just what is at stake in getting immigration reform right. All Californians, Texans, and Arizonians, who think they know the border, should read this book. It is essential reading for our times."—Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco, Fisher Membership Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, and co-author of Latinos: Remaking America