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They live in the suburbs of Tennessee and Indiana. They fought in Vietnam and Desert Storm. They speak about an older, better America, an America that once was, and is no more. And for the past decade, they have come to the U.S. / Mexico border to hunt for illegal immigrants. Who are the Minutemen? Patriots? Racists? Vigilantes?
Harel Shapira lived with the Minutemen and patrolled the border with them, seeking neither to condemn nor praise them, but to understand who they are and what they do. Challenging simplistic depictions of these men as right-wing fanatics with loose triggers, Shapira discovers a group of men who long for community and embrace the principles of civic engagement. Yet these desires and convictions have led them to a troubling place.
Shapira takes you to that place - a stretch of desert in southern Arizona, where he reveals that what draws these men to the border is not simply racism or anti-immigrant sentiments, but a chance to relive a sense of meaning and purpose rooted in an older life of soldiering. They come to the border not only in search of illegal immigrants, but of lost identities and experiences.
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- Jason G. Cons
Amazing book with deeply offensive narration
This book is outstanding. It's an evenly balanced, keenly insightful ethnography of border patrol. It's an outstanding example of sociological ethnography. Unfortunately, the reader is intent on undermining everything of value the book has to offer. The whole point of the book is to ask us to unthink our preconceived notions of what and who the Minutemen are. The point is to challenge our stereotypes. The narrator, on the other hand, seeks to reinforce these stereotypes. Every Minuteman who speaks is given a Gomer Pyle Southern Accent that is targeted to make them sounds stupid no matter what they are saying. Members of opposing border groups that seek to give shelter to those crossing the border are given winy liberal accents, despite the fact that they are from Arizona. If this book is about making us think, the narrator seems to want to us to be unthinking morons. An unfortunate and deep disservice to this book.
1 person found this helpful
- Hannah DalSoglio
Narrator was more than engaging, and for an ethnography, it was written in very understandable language for the lay person. The author truot outlined the nuance of why the Minutemen are there and doing what they are doing and made very empathetic characters out of who many may think of as crazy old vigilantes. Definitely recommend.
- ryan caldwell
Narrator undermines the message with embarrassing and prejudiced caricature.
The book itself is a fantastic and insightful look at the lives of these men and the reasons they are there. Unfortunately, the narrator undermines the thrust of the humanizing message with embarrassing and prejudiced caricature.
Overly thick backwoods accents with insinuations of intelligence levels are laid on thick. To the point where its difficult to simply listen to what people are trying to say because the narrators impression of who they are is crowding out the content. Instead of an objective listen to someone’s opinion, the narrator is busy trying to telegraph and object his preformed idea. Takes you out of it, being so obvious and one-note.
Such a shame. I have a genuine interest in why these people are doing what they are doing. I struggled to hear them through the sheen.
There no way the author could be happy with this performance.