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Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and the Global Economy's New Killing Fieldsby Charles Bowden
Synopses & Reviews
Ciudad Juárez lies just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas. A once-thriving border town, it now resembles a failed state. Infamously known as the place where women disappear, its murder rate exceeds that of Baghdad. Last year 1,607 people were killed—a number that is on pace to increase in 2009.
In Murder City, Charles Bowden—one of the few journalists who has spent extended periods of time in Juárez—has written an extraordinary account of what happens when a city disintegrates. Interweaving stories of its inhabitants—a raped beauty queen, a repentant hitman, a journalist fleeing for his life—with a broader meditation on the towns descent into anarchy, Bowden reveals how Juárezs culture of violence will not only worsen, but inevitably spread north.
Heartbreaking, disturbing, and unforgettable, Murder City establishes Bowden as one of our leading writers working at the height of his powers.
"Bowden (Some of the Dead Are Still Breathing) grapples with the almost incomprehensible levels of violence in Jurez, Mexico. Over 1,600 people were murdered in Jurez in 2008; almost as many were murdered in the first half of 2009 and countless more have been kidnapped. Bowden tries to explain the escalation in violence, but explanation — even investigation — is impossible: witnesses don't come forward out of fear of the police; the police in turn are terrified of the military and the cartels. The military are apathetic and often complicit in the killing, as is the federal government. Journalists report the scantiest facts; many are paid off, and the rest fear the consequences of telling the truth. In the absence of hard facts, Bowden can offer only an impressionistic account of his own frustration at the collusion of police, media, federal government, and global economic forces in making inexorable violence the defining feature of daily life in the border town. This is a nonfiction book without facts, without a thesis, and without an argument; Bowden's sentences are gorgeous things, euphonious and deeply sincere — but the book offers no understanding or call to action, only resigned acceptance." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
From the award-winning, critically acclaimed Charles Bowden, a stunning work of reportage on Ciudad Juárez—the blood-soaked town caught in the crosshairs of Mexicos escalating drug wars
About the Author
Charles Bowden, the recipient of a Lannan Literary Award and the Sidney Hillman Award, is the critically acclaimed author of numerous books, including Down by the River and Some of the Dead Are Still Breathing. He is a contributing editor for GQ and Mother Jones, and also writes for Harper-s, the New York Times Book Review, Esquire, and Aperture. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.
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