GOLD OFrnHISTORY’SrnGREATESTrnEMPIRErnGreat Britain “Queen Victoria”rn1893-1901 Gold SovereignrnINTRODUCTORYrnPRICErnONLY $ 1 9 9 Reg. $249rnWhen this splendid gold sovereignrnwas introduced a century ago,rnQueen Victoria reigned over thernlargest empire in world history. Thisrnwas the most famous gold coin ofrnits day — across the globe, the sunrnnever set on its gleaming .917 finerngold beauty. The portrait of thernaged Queen and the St. Georgernand the Dragon reverse are greatlyrnadmired engravings, beautifullyrnpreserved in our sharply detailedrnExtra Fine quality. These certifiedoriginalrngold classics can now bernyours at a special introduaory salernprice. It’s our way of acquaintingrnyou with International Coins &rnCurrency’s strict grading, fastrndelivery and friendly service —rnand we’ll include a FREE discountrncatalog. Sale Price: $199 (reg.rn$249). Save more: 3 for $585,rn5 for $950. Order #16827. Tornorder by credit card, call toll-freern1-800-451-4463 at any time. Orrnsend a check or money order tO:rnInternational Coins & Currency,rnInc., n E. State St., Box 218, Deptrn3047, Montpelier, Vermont 05601.rnAdd $2 for postage. You get a 30-rnday no-risk home examinationrnand money-back guarantee.rnServing Collectorsrnfor 20 Years 3047rnminder of lost territory. For still others,rnit is an obstacle to be overcome in reachingrnthe land of milk and honey. For writerrnWilliam Langewiesche, however, thernborder represents a great rift, a chasmrnseparating two inimical nations that alternatelyrndespise and ignore each other:rnin his view, it stands as the most visiblernsymbol of political division in the presentrnworld. “Only here,” he writes, “do thernfirst and third worlds meet facc-to-face,rnwith no second world in between.”rnIn Cutting for Sign, his first book,rnLangewiesche recounts a compositernjourney along the frontier, observing andrnreporting what he sees along the way.rnThat journey has been made many timesrnbefore, most recently by writers TomrnMiller (On the Border) and Alan Weismanrn{La Frontera), but Langewieschernfinds new twists that keep his book fromrntreading on theirs, particularly in hisrnattention to political issues. He starts offrnliterally in medias res, viewing the broadrnsweep of the border from the midwayrnvantage point of the Big Bend. Fromrnthere, he reflects on his dealings withrna hard-edged Mexican ranch handrnwho once lived near his place outsidernof Marfa, Texas, a man with whom herncould never quite connect. Langewieschernreturns to him at several pointsrnin the book, most tellingly when describingrntheir last encounter: “We hadrnlittle to say,” he remembers, “and hernwanted me gone.”rnCutting for Sign has its origins in arnlong article Langewiesche wrote twornyears ago at the commission of thernAtlantic; in expanding it to book length,rnhe has introduced much thoughtfulrnreflection on matters he had earlierrnreported only briefly: immigration, culturalrnconflict, the economy of drugrnsmuggling, local power struggles, clashesrnbetween Anglo- and Mexican-Americanrninterest groups, and so on. His on-thegroundrnreportage is solid work, and somernof the best moments of the book comernwhen he is among the people for whomrnthe international line means life-anddeathrnpolitical reality. He gives us a viewrnof the daily life of a Border Patrol agentrnin San Ysidro, California, where the frontierrnends in ocean, a routine that involvesrnthe endless frustration of never beingrnable to halt the tide of illegal entry fromrnMexico into the United States. (Thernagent sighs, resignedly, “We could linkrnhands out here and still not stop them.”)rnLangewiesche uses the occasion tornembark on an intricate discussion of currentrnimmigration policy, arriving at arnprovocative conclusion: given our currentrnsocial and economic woes, the borderrnneeds to be sealed more tightly.rn”Impoverished immigrants,” he argues,rn”do not cause these problems, but theyrnadd to them.” His call for greater restrictionsrndoes not keep him fromrnappreciating the good reasons the alainbristas,rnthe wire-jumpers, have for movingrnnorthward. Neither docs it ignorernthe agent’s unhappy ofjscrvation: “Therntruth is that everyone who persists eventuallyrnmanages to enter the UnitedrnStates.”rnLangewiesche has a special interestrnin the border’s economics, legal andrnillegal. He takes us alongside a TohonornO’odham tracking party that works thernold Devils Highway, “cutting for sign”—rnsearching for tracks—of narcotraficantes,rnsmugglers who use the sparsely populatedrnreservation as an avenue for bringingrncocaine and marijuana to gringo markets.rnThe agent in charge, like the borderrnpatrolman, recognizes that their work isrnlargely futile, noting in disgust that advancementsrnlike barrage balloons andrncomputers have made his work harder,rnnot easier, by bringing a mountain ofrnundigested information to his desk andrnthus keeping him from the field. Whenrninformed that he is about to be assignedrna long-promised “intelligence analyst,”rnthe chief says drily, “What the hell’s herngonna tell me—that marijuana’s green?”rnLangewiesche also leads his readersrninside what appears to be a rarity: an equitablyrnrun maquiladora, or Americanownedrnfactory in Mexico, where laborrncosts are low and environmental andrnbusiness regulations are looser thanrnnorth of the fence. He finds little torncelebrate in having dug out the rare instancernof an operation whose emplo}-rnees receive full benefits, sick leave, andrnfree meals during the workday. InrnLangewiesche’s view, it will remain rare:rn”To the extent that Mexico ties its futurernto the United States,” he writes, “industryrnwill continue to concentrate on thernborder. The maquilas will shed theirrnskins but live on in similar forms.”rnNeither does he foresee much hopernfor improved relations between thernUnited States and Mexico. “The ideal ofrna shared humanity,” he rightl}’ obseres,rn”does not withstand the mapmaker’srnpen.” Despite the promises of the newlyrnapproved North American Hee TradernAgreement, whose champions foresee arnprosperous future for the continent’s in-rn34/CHRONiCLESrnrnrn