Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Line in the Sand: A History of the Western U.S.-Mexico Border” as Want to Read:
Line in the Sand: A History of the Western U.S.-Mexico Border
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Line in the Sand: A History of the Western U.S.-Mexico Border (America in the World)

3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  53 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
"Line in the Sand" details the dramatic transformation of the western U.S.-Mexico border from its creation at the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848 to the emergence of the modern boundary line in the first decades of the twentieth century. In this sweeping narrative, Rachel St. John explores how this boundary changed from a mere line on a map to a clearly marked and ...more
Paperback, 284 pages
Published November 25th 2012 by Princeton University Press (first published January 1st 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Line in the Sand, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Line in the Sand

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 08, 2012 Robert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

A Harvard professor, Rachel St. John, has just published a useful and comprehensive short history of the western U.S.-Mexico border (meaning from El Paso to San Diego.)

It is a tale that approaches geography as a multiform kind of space: social space, indigenous space, national identity space, commercial space, smuggling space, and so forth.

Early on, as history records, the United States found ways to take what we call the northern portion of the U.S.-Mexico border from Mexico by purchase, diplom
Jan 18, 2016 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the first half of this and skimmed the second, because the first half was more interesting to me. It relates to my field, the northeastern Canada/US border. What were these boundaries like when they were just imaginary, unpoliced lines running through desert or forest or mountains? It is always fascinating to me to read about borders and the persistent idea that it is easy to draw "natural" borders between two countries. There has always been this notion among mapmakers and peace treaty n ...more
This is an unremarkable history of the U.S.-Mexico border (and borderlands) west of the Rio Grande from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s. St. John, a Harvard historian when wrote the book, goes long on academic jargon; you'll read a lot here about things like the border being a "complicated system of relational space" involving "negotiated sovereignty," which are unduly opaque articulations of the banal point that the governments involved can't always get what they want. And that is pretty much ...more
This is a history of the part of the US - Mexican border west of the Rio Grande river from its initial specification and ratification by treaty after the Mexican war and the Gadsen Purchase up until the 1930s. The book presents an evolving view of the border world from the wild west to the Guilded Age to Prohibition to the Depression. Theer are interesting points and the book is well written (it is clearly a dissertation that has been worked up into a book). Not a lot that is surprising but lots ...more
Feb 09, 2016 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A highly readable overview of the history and development of the U.S.-Mexican border, starting with the Boundary Commission shortly after the conclusion of the Mexican-American war, covering the Gadsden Purchase, forward to the 20th century, and present calls for a wall along the entire length of the border. The author gives the history, with nuanced insight and without an agenda. The text shows that the border, and how to control it, has been subject to debate many times. Feelings of anti-immig ...more
Jason S
Feb 01, 2016 Jason S rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: border
A very well written book describing the history of the US Mexico border from the Mexican American war until the Great Depression. Interesting chapters on vice zones during prohibition and on the development of immigration regulations.
Linda Heffernan
Lots of stuff I didn't know before.
Mika Kennedy
Mika Kennedy rated it liked it
Apr 03, 2014
Leah rated it liked it
Mar 30, 2014
Sean rated it liked it
Sep 10, 2012
Brent rated it liked it
Dec 03, 2013
Dale Levine
Dale Levine rated it liked it
Nov 11, 2012
Mary Churay
Mary Churay rated it really liked it
Oct 19, 2015
Lindsey rated it it was amazing
Oct 27, 2011
David rated it really liked it
May 15, 2013
Patrick Gordon
Patrick Gordon rated it it was ok
Feb 11, 2016
Linette rated it liked it
Oct 30, 2012
Kellen rated it liked it
Jun 22, 2014
Jose Palafox
Jose Palafox rated it really liked it
Nov 08, 2013
Susan rated it it was ok
Oct 26, 2014
Ashley rated it it was amazing
Jan 25, 2015
Erica Kritt
Erica Kritt rated it liked it
Jul 24, 2013
grace kelley
grace kelley rated it liked it
Nov 15, 2016
Daniela Sanabria
Daniela Sanabria rated it did not like it
Jan 14, 2016
Bonnie Hill
Bonnie Hill rated it really liked it
Jul 11, 2016
Phil rated it it was ok
Aug 01, 2012
Pamela rated it really liked it
Oct 16, 2013
Haley rated it it was amazing
May 09, 2017
Mario rated it it was amazing
May 09, 2012
Ariel rated it liked it
Apr 27, 2017
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Other Books in the Series

America in the World (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Reforming the World: The Creation of America's Moral Empire
  • The Other Alliance: Student Protest in West Germany and the United States in the Global Sixties
  • The Great American Mission: Modernization and the Construction of an American World Order
  • Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, the German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South
  • The 1970s: A New Global History from Civil Rights to Economic Inequality
  • Foreign Relations: American Immigration in Global Perspective
  • The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century
  • America in the World: A History in Documents from the War with Spain to the War on Terror
  • The Age of Garvey: How a Jamaican Activist Created a Mass Movement and Changed Global Black Politics
  • The New Deal: A Global History

Share This Book