Rhetoric and Reality on the U.S.—Mexico Border
Place, Politics, Home
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Stemming from four years of ethnographic research, media analysis of over 750 national news articles published in the 2010s, and decades of the author’s professional and personal immersion in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas, Rhetoric and Reality illuminates a place at the heart of our national conversation: the U.S.-Mexico border. K. Jill Fleuriet contrasts the rhetoric of national political and media discourse with that of local border leaders in economics, health care, politics, education, law enforcement, philanthropy, and activism. As she deconstructs the common narrative of a border in need of external intervention to control corruption, poverty, sickness, and violence, Fleuriet engagingly illustrates the range of regional organizing, local development strategies, and community responses in the borderlands that ultimately situate the Rio Grande Valley as the “true North” of the U.S. national compass—where the Valley goes, the rest of the country soon will follow. Rhetoric and Reality asks us to question our own assumptions, especially about those areas that drive national decisions about resource allocation, economic development and national security.