Book Discussion: Borderline Americans: Racial Division and Labor War in the Arizona Borderlands

December 09, 2009 // 2:00pm4:00pm

Author Katherine Benton-Cohen, Assistant Professor of History, Georgetown University and Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Center; Eric Arnesen, Professor of History, George Washington University; Melanie Shell-Weiss, Visiting Assistant Professor of History, Johns Hopkins University

In American popular culture, conflict over the border between the U.S. and Mexico flared up throughout the 19th century but was resolved by the 20th. Not so, says historian Katherine Benton-Cohen in her provocative new book. Borderline Americans describes the 1917 clash between vigilantes and "undesirables"—immigrants, union activists, and others—in remote Cochise County, Arizona. This clash was, according to Benton-Cohen. "part of a larger national saga of race, belonging and exclusion." Her analysis has important implications for the present, when self-appointed Minutemen patrol the border where vigilantes once held sway.

Wilson Center Photo Gallery

Browse or share photos from the Wilson Center’s events.

To Attend an Event

Unless otherwise noted:

Meetings listed on this page are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required unless otherwise noted. All meetings take place at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. Please see map and directions. Allow time for routine security procedures. A photo ID is required for entry.

To confirm time and place, contact Maria-Stella Gatzoulis on the day of the event: tel. (202) 691-4188. Check this page for the latest updates and notices.