Last updateFri, 21 Sep 2018 10am

The US & Mexico: inextricably intertwined

‘Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together’ by Andrew Selee.  New York: Public Affairs, 2018.

Reviewed by Dr. Michael Hogan

There have always been two traditional ways of viewing Mexico in the modern era: Harry S. Truman’s “good neighbors,” and John Foster Dulles’s caution that the United States did not have friends or neighbors, only “interests.”

What seemed clear until the most recent presidential campaign was that the relationship was a symbiotic one and that the two countries cooperated in ways that made the hemisphere more secure, more profitable for its inhabitants and culturally more deeply connected through a wealth of music, art, cuisine and literature. Since the campaign and the inauguration of the new administration in Washington, however, anti-Mexican rhetoric has risen sharply and the complexity of our relationship has been largely obscured. Even the more responsible news outlets have been complicit except for the occasional op-ed piece by Enrique Krause in the New York Times or Andrew Selee in the Wall Street Journal.

So, this full-length study of the U.S.-Mexico relationship by the latter is particularly welcomed. It is a clear, balanced, straightforward account of the mutual dependencies of our two nations and a counterweight to the hyperbole and rhetoric which has captured the headlines over the past few years.

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