Martinez has written one of the best, most humane accounts of illegal immigration from Mexico into the United States. I especially appreciated how thiMartinez has written one of the best, most humane accounts of illegal immigration from Mexico into the United States. I especially appreciated how this book is laid out. In the first half, he describes his experiences visiting a small provincial Mexican town. The people there are poor, and the economy is almost entirely driven by work performed in the United States. American inner city culture has returned to this small town with migrants, who come back whenever they can. There are tensions there between those who have found success on their voyages north and those who remain very poor.
In the second half of the book, Martinez visits many of the families from this small Mexican town at their US residences. He describes the trouble they have finding a place in communities that aren't very welcoming. It is interesting that many families who exist near the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder in the United States are considered wealthy when they return to their communities of origin.
In all, this is a fantastic book. It certainly doesn't tell the whole story of migration between Mexico and the United States, but it tells an important part. ...more
This is one of the best sociological studies I've read. It's all about people selling printed materials on a sidewalk in Greenwich Village in New YorkThis is one of the best sociological studies I've read. It's all about people selling printed materials on a sidewalk in Greenwich Village in New York. At some point, New York passed a city ordinance which lifted restrictions against selling printed material on the street. This opened the door to an underground economy of ad hoc booksellers. There are many different kinds of printed matter sellers, ranging from those who dig through bookstore dumpsters for discarded high priced magazines to those who sell only a particular type of book for political reasons. The author, who studied these people by living and working with them for several seasons, has a deep compassion for his subjects. He treats everyone in his story as a whole person, even though many of them suffer deeply from drug addiction, alcoholism, and mental illness. It's an eye opening book, and it will change the way you think of street-people whether you live in New York, New York or Ottumwa, Iowa. ...more
You are being watched. The all knowing eye of society means to control you, and they have developed very advance techniques to that end. No one needsYou are being watched. The all knowing eye of society means to control you, and they have developed very advance techniques to that end. No one needs to tell you how to behave. You have been told enough times, and subjected to so much surveillance, that you will forever police your own behavior. Or at least that's what Foucault wants you to believe. Is he right, or wrong? You won't know for yourself unless you read the book. Foucault's line of argument seems to be sound, although he may be hiding faulty logic in high falootin' language. A word to the wise before you start; it's thick as pea soup. Attempt to read this book only if you are well rested and at the top of your game. If it is assigned for a course, don't put it off until the last minute. ...more
Friedman is an unabashed cheerleader for globalization. A few weeks ago, his column in the New York Times was about a call center in Kenya where AmeriFriedman is an unabashed cheerleader for globalization. A few weeks ago, his column in the New York Times was about a call center in Kenya where American companies are outsourcing customer service calls. In 'The World is Flat', he makes the compelling case that over-investment in fiber optic cable during the dot com boom and a perfect storm of innovations in supply chaining and management are driving all work to where it can be done most cheaply. He doesn't seem to be wary of this process at all, which is not to his credit. As a matter of fact, the benefits of globalization go almost entirely unquestioned in this tome. Nonetheless, his analysis of what is happening in the world and the way outsourcing is taking place was valuable to my understanding of world events. If you read this book, take it with a whole shaker full of salt....more