Eschewing academics as well as the sloganeering usually found in discussions of America's largest immigration camp, Langley (Foreign Relations and Latin American History/Georgia) takes the reader on a refreshingly candid journey through MexAmerica, the geographic and cultural entity formed by the confluence of two nations' histories. Beginning with the Texas Panhandle of his youth, Langley provides an ""impressionistic and personal"" sweep of cities and towns on the border and in Mexico, and shows how the continually dashed hopes of Mexico's rural poor lead a third of their workers to travel northward. (Lately, these are increasingly skilled workers.) Once here, laborers follow the trend they follow back home--they eventually crowd into cities, and many of them prosper. But are Hispanics assimiliated in the way other immigrant groups have been'? Unfortunately not, according to the author. Treated as outcasts, opportunists, or just as threats to jobs and security, Hispanics continue to be marginalized by prejudice, political gerrymandering, and outright neglect. As Langley points out, we value Mexican labor, but not Mexicans. Yet, with the proliferation of the US-operated maquila, or cheap labor, plants in Mexico, the steady flow of millions of immigrants, and the ever-tightening relationship of the two nations' economies, MexAmerica cannot be marginalized for long. A very readable and informative book.