Review of Border Insecurity: Why Big Money, Fences, and Drones Aren’t Making Us Safer

Author: Sylvia Longmire

Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan

This is a good book, especially because it covers an issue that is often talked about but usually not understood in any depth. In other words, it presents important facts about an issue that involves complexity and confusion.

The problem for me–and the only reason I did not give it five stars, though I am being generous with four–is that it is organized inefficiently. The book should be chronological, and should break attempts at border insecurity down into periods. Instead the author attempts to organize it by theme, so that we are first introduced to the criminal drug trafficking scene, then to the role of those protecting our borders, then to fences, then to technology, and so on. What we do not get by such a picture is a clear picture of the development of the problem and the rate at which we are approaching success or failure in dealing with it. What we get are jigsaw puzzle pieces that we need to put together and, unfortunately, I have too many other things that I need to read for my own writing to wish to really do that. Thus I consider this book a good one, but not anywhere near a great one.