The Devil's Highway: A True Story

The Devil s Highway A True Story The author of Across the Wire offers brilliant investigative reporting of what went wrong when in May a group of men attempted to cross the Mexican border into the desert of southern Arizona

  • Title: The Devil's Highway: A True Story
  • Author: Luis Alberto Urrea
  • ISBN: 9780316746717
  • Page: 102
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The author of Across the Wire offers brilliant investigative reporting of what went wrong when, in May 2001, a group of 26 men attempted to cross the Mexican border into the desert of southern Arizona Only 12 men came back out Superb Nothing less than a saga on the scale of the Exodus and an ordeal as heartbreaking as the Passion The book comes vividly aliThe author of Across the Wire offers brilliant investigative reporting of what went wrong when, in May 2001, a group of 26 men attempted to cross the Mexican border into the desert of southern Arizona Only 12 men came back out Superb Nothing less than a saga on the scale of the Exodus and an ordeal as heartbreaking as the Passion The book comes vividly alive with a richness of language and a mastery of narrative detail that only the most gifted of writers are able to achieve Los Angeles Times Book Review.

    One thought on “The Devil's Highway: A True Story”

    1. of all the books i've read on the subject, this is the best. the story itself is harrowing, of course, and urrea is one hell of a writer. rather than tell a linear story of the 26 mexicans who walked across the devil's highway (only 12 lived to tell the tale), he offers a kaleidoscopic view of the whole machine: border patrol, mexican gangsters, coyotes, arizona, texas, vera cruz, the rio grande, sonora, and the eyeball-drying life-taking sweat-sucking scorching terrible terrible terrible dantea [...]

    2. This a great book, one of the best I’ve read this year. It hits you in the head, makes you think hard about the events conveyed between its pages, but it packs an even harder emotional wallop. I felt such sadness and fierce heartache for the 26 men who stumbled into the Devil’s Highway and the brutal loss of the 14 who didn’t make it and the tortuous way they stumbled, for hour on endless hour, into the ultimately merciful embrace of death.Urrea has a poet’s gift for language, alternatin [...]

    3. I was working with the Border Patrol at the time of this story. It is a very effective presentation of how people are smuggled across the Arizona border from Mexico. It is also effective at showing how to die in the desert. You will feel empathy for the migrants. You will see the day to day life of the Border Patrol. They are not who they are often presented as. With this you will identify how dysfunctional policy is with regard to the Southwest Border I'm a fan of sealed borders and liberal imm [...]

    4. We all know that in our current political climate, there are very strong feelings by people on every side when it comes to the issue of immigration and refugees. There has long been talk about a wall being built between the United States and Mexico, to prevent people from crossing the border and, y'know, "taking our jobs" or whatever. I'm not interested in having a political debate with anyone about this topic, but a wall is fucking stupid.In any case.In 2001, 26 men attempted to cross the borde [...]

    5. Investigative journalism that reads like the best fiction Urrea writes a fascinating, disturbing, and tragic account of the Yuma 14. In May of 2001, a group of 26 people got lost in the Arizona desert while attempting to crossthe border, and only 12 survived. I decided to read the book after hearing Urrea speak here in Bloomington. In person, he was an amazing story teller, and explained the process of writing the devil's highway. I learned a lot about the politics and geography of the border, a [...]

    6. THE DEVIL’S HIGHWAY is Luis Alberto Urrea’s account of a disastrous effort by twenty-six impoverished Mexican men to cross the border into the United States and find work to support the families. They had their dreams: buying a home for their parents, a new roof for their wife, schooling for their children, a car, gifts for their girlfriends. There was just no work in the impoverished city of Vera Cruz from which they came. They each paid over a thousand pesos for a knowledgeable guide to le [...]

    7. This is as good as it gets if you want a short but comprehensive examination of the issues surrounding our porous border with Mexico. All viewpoints are represented, and with surprisingly little bias on the part of the author. As a Mexican American, Urrea admits to an initial bias against the Border Patrol, or "Pinche Migra." His investigation changed his mind, and he presents them in a favorable light. Urrea uses one well-publicized 2001 tragedy to illustrate the complexities and absurdities of [...]

    8. If hell really existed, it would likely look like the Devil’s Highway in southern Arizona – an area so harsh and unforgiving that even the Border Patrol is afraid to travel through it.In May 2001, 26 Mexican men attempted to cross the Mexican border after gifting the Coyotes – human smugglers – with just about every peso they have. And then their journey goes terribly wrong. “They didn’t carry enough water. Can there ever be enough water? Probably not. But the Popielas carried a coup [...]

    9. A detailed, sad story of one border crossing from Mexico to the USA which went very, very wrong. Urrea skilfully presents the story through the eyes of the walkers, the Coyotes, the financiers, the gangsters, Mexican government, US government, border patrols officers. One of his quotes was from the local Mexican consul who said, "What kills the people is the politics of stupidity that rules both sides of the border". As an outsider, it seems nothing has changed.

    10. The border between the U.S. and Mexico is a mythical, brutal place. A no-man's land that men often cross through, or die in. In May 2014, two dozen men entered "the Devil's Highway", a stretch of desert between Sonora in Mexico and Yuma, Arizona in America. Fourteen of these men did not come out alive.This is not an uncommon fate for "undocumented entrants"; hundreds of migrants die every year trying to gain entry to America. (1,954 people died crossing the border between 1998 and 2004*. Heat st [...]

    11. This was an excellent book on border crossings between Mexico and the U.S. It is horrifying as well. I can still see the mummified bodies of those who tried to cross the borders with just one ola in their hands. They thought that all they had to do was walk across, and they were there in a town or city; instead a desert met them, and they died within a very short period of time.

    12. Having lived in Tucson and participated in the Southern Arizona Rescue Association, this book hit uncomfortably close to home. While these days SARA mostly evacuates lost hikers who run out of water in the summer heat, they used to participate in border "body pickups" and I heard plenty of disturbing stories from some of the veteran members. Having been on calls where lost hikers nearly succumbed to the heat after a few hours in the Catalinas' blazing summer heat, the level of suffering the Yuma [...]

    13. Part 1 is over written and over told. I think the author was trying to provide context but it was like someone describing a map. Boring.Part 2 is just as descriptive but it becomes entrancing. I could visualize everything those men went through in the desert. After that the over explaining begins again.Although it's not perfect I think everyone should read this book before they form an opinion on immigration. These "illegal immigrants" didn't come here to have "anchor babies" or get on "welfare. [...]

    14. If you're interested in learning more about the Mexican border in a balanced way, this is an excellent and brutally honest book by a reporter who writes with a poet's touch. We get fed so much propaganda on immigration, from populist politicians and sensationalized media (both sides), that it's easy to form strong opinions on complex issues, of which we barely understand. We demonize those who don't fit inside our own core group's noble mythology. We create bugbears out of our own insecurities. [...]

    15. A non-fictional account of Mexican men who died trying to cross the US border in Yuma, Arizona. The author tells us why these men were trying to come to the US, the mechanism that they were using to get there, and most importantly, how they likely died. I didn't know anything about this subject matter, and this book may seem like a strange place to start, but it actually provided a great context to what was happening along the Arizona-Mexican border in the early 2000s. The book provides much inf [...]

    16. The Devil's Highway, is a pretty good book. Urrea sees no sacred cows - except for perhaps the poor individuals who dare to cross over to the U.S. Urrea's border landscape is murderous one, and the "Coyotes" that lead the illegals across are predators and gangsters. It's all about money. Urrea does his best to give each of those who suffered through the 2001 ordeal (the Yuma 14 (those that died), or Wellton 26 (the entire party), take your pick), faces, lives, hopes. They are people, and not jus [...]

    17. The descriptions were so unsettling, that even though I reading, sitting in a warm bath on a cold snowy night, I felt my mouth turn tacky as he detailed the stages that led to heat stroke. I could feel the sun burning my scalp and imagine the sun’s glare piercing through my eyes straight into my brain. I was a bit reluctant at the start; I don’t usually enjoy the style of poets turned non-fiction writers. They tend to have flowery, discursive prose that floats around the facts rather than ge [...]

    18. This book was chosen by CLC for our book discussion group during orientation week. The college hopes to bring Luis Alberto Urrea to campus in April. This book tells the story of the Yuma 14 (which we later learn should be more aptly titled the Wellton 23), a group of men from southern Mexico who are led by two Coyotes across the border into the Arizona dessert, an area aptly titled "The Devil's Highway." A number of events and decisions lead to the men getting hopelessly lost and basically "cook [...]

    19. Well-written account of the horrible tragedy of the Yuma 14. Reminiscent of Krakauer's Into Thin Air. Urrea is a phenomenal writer - the text is engaging and poetic. It's well-researched; its apparent that no stone was left unturned and perspectives of all involved were explored. It highlights the tragic and horrifying story of a few that perish on their path to the American Dream, but brings attention to all of those forgotten and the political and institutional barriers to the Dream. Highly su [...]

    20. Why does Mexico martyrize the men and women of it's country who die trying to escape it's borders looking for a better life?It really struck me that the cost of burying the fallen, of sending them back to Mexico could have been put to such better purposes if it had been invested before these men took their fateful journey. I listened to this on audio, and then read it in paperback to make sure I know what I'm doing with audio. It was an interesting experiment. I think the descriptions of dying o [...]

    21. Desgraciadamente, este libro es magnífico. Digo ''desgraciadamente'' porque es una verdadera historia de un grupo que inmigrantes que muere en el desierto de Arizona. Como soy de Tucson, Arizona, este libro me atrayó inmediatemente y cuando supe que iba a ser el libro escogido por el alcalde de Austin. He tenido el placer de oir hablar dos veces el autor, Luis Alberto Urrea, y es obvio que él hizo sus estudios para preparar el manuscrito para este libro. Es muy talentoso además; hay que leer [...]

    22. This is a heavy read, but such a good one. I started reading this book during a trip to Tijuana to work with Esperanza International and met some men who also crossed the border in the same dangerous way (through the dessert) as those in the book, so the its contents hit me especially hard. Urrea knows how to pack a punch in a sentence and obviously did a great amount of research to be able to reconstruct events with such detail.

    23. This is a dangerous time to read “Devil’s Highway”. It is too easy to get lost in this book, a metaphor I choose intentionally, and to misread it as a justification for the rabid anti-immigration poison so prominent today. More on that shortly.The “Devil’s highway” (the thing itself, not the book) is a brutal spread of desert between Mexico and Arizona. People get lost here, and suffer horribly until they end with even more horrific horrific deaths. The book chronicles the journey of [...]

    24. The Devil's Highway, El Camino del Diablo, lies sere, bleak , arid and forbidding, a calescent trail across the Mexican-US border for illegals seeking salvation and opportunity in the north.The Devil's Highway is the true story of a group of 26 Mexican illegals who crossed the US-Mexican border heading through the desert for Ajo, Arizona on May 19th, 2001. By May 25th, only 12 came out. Luis Alberto Urrea's book is a powerful piece of work. Urrea can sling a phrase with the best of them, weaving [...]

    25. After reading Urrea's book, Into the Beautiful North, I looked for more of this author's writing and stumbled upon The Devil's Highway. This book is different from Urrea's traditional writing style of fantastical Latin American literature. Instead it is a more realistic portrail of the border life. He tells the story of the Yuma 14, the infamous story throughout the Southwest in 2001 about the death of many illegal immigrants along the "Devil's Highway" a border crossing corridor within Arizona' [...]

    26. I read this book while on a visit to Salt Lake City. Until it was done, I did not look up as we drove around town, and did not contribute to conversations with our friends there. I just sat and read, until it was done. Like "Morir en el intento", it is a real tragedy that happened as a group tried to cross the desert into the US. Unlike that other book though, this doesn't read like a newspaper as much. The author weaves us in and out of the story of the journey itself, using what the survivors [...]

    27. If there was any doubt about the desperation, rigor and catastrophe involved in crossing the US/Mexican border illegally, Urrea puts it to rest here. A gut-wrenchingly visceral reconstruction of a 2001 border-crossing gone bad, this book examines the forces that made it happen in the first place. The story is crushing, of course, and Urrea spares nothing in highlighting its tragic dimensions. The style is intentionally inflammatory, which many claim makes it a powerful read that is really well w [...]

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