Synopses & Reviews
Amexica is the harrowing story of the extraordinary terror unfolding along the U.S.-Mexico border—“a country in its own right, which belongs to both the United States and Mexico, yet neither”—as the narco-war escalates to a fever pitch there.
In 2009, after reporting from the border for many years, Ed Vulliamy traveled the frontier from the Pacific coast to the Gulf of Mexico, from Tijuana to Matamoros, a journey through a kaleidoscopic landscape of corruption and all-out civil war, but also of beauty and joy and resilience. He describes in revelatory detail how the narco gangs work; the smuggling of people, weapons, and drugs back and forth across the border; middle-class flight from Mexico and an American celebrity culture that is feeding the violence; the interrelated economies of drugs and the maquiladora factories; the ruthless, systematic murder of young women in Ciudad Juarez. Heroes, villains, and victims—the brave and rogue police, priests, women, and journalists fighting the violence; the gangs and their freelance killers; the dead and the devastated—all come to life in this singular book.
Amexica takes us far beyond today’s headlines. It is a street-level portrait, by turns horrific and sublime, of a place and people in a time of war as much as of the war itself.
“Vulliamy, with a mix of irony and pathos, writes like a latter-day Graham Greene. . . . Like all good travel writing, Amexica
is vivid, colorful, and exotic, filled with striking vignettes and larger-than-life characters.” —Tamar Jacoby, The New York Times Book Review
“Extraordinary.” —Vanity Fair
“An engrossing travelogue . . . a vivid, disturbing dispatch from a very wild frontier.” —Publishers Weekly
“Vulliamy paints a terrifying and authoritative portrait of violence.” —David Reiff, The Wall Street Journal
“An absorbing odyssey . . . Vulliamys reporting is faultlessly brave. . . . The scenery and characters he meets are brought alive with vividness and intensity.” —Alex Spillius, The Telegraph (UK)
“The author writes lyrically, with the enticing rhythm of his sentences contrasting jarringly with the degradation of humanity found on nearly every page . . . Most of the narrative feels fresh because it is based so heavily on Vulliamys own wanderings . . . An impressively rendered, nightmare-inducing account.” —Kirkus Reviews“Previously, to understand the ruthlessness, ambition and impact of todays global criminals, you needed to read Roberto Savianos Gomorrah and Misha Glennys McMafia. Now, you also need to read Vulliamys Amexica.” —Brian Schofield, The Times (UK)
With a New Afterword
In 2009, Ed Vulliamy traveled two thousand miles along the frontier from the Pacific coast to the Gulf of Mexico, and from Tijuana to Matamoros, a journey through a kaleidoscopic landscape of corruption and all-out civil war. He describes in revelatory detail the dreaded narco gangs; the smuggling of people, weapons, and illegal drugs; and the interrelated economies of drugs and the ruthless, systematic murder of young women in Ciudad Juarez. Amexica takes us far beyond todays headlines. It is a street-level portrait, by turns horrific and sublime, of a place and people in a time of war as much as of the war itself, “an impressively rendered, nightmare-inducing account” (Kirkus Reviews, Top 25 Books of 2010).
About the Author
ED VULLIAMY was the New York correspondent for The Observer from 1997 to 2003 and spent many years as an international correspondent for The Guardian. The author of Seasons in Hell, Vulliamy lives in London and Arizona.