A suspenseful story as well as a fascinating depiction of the mechanics of money laundering, the largely unfamiliar world of...

BONES

BROTHERS, HORSES, CARTELS, AND THE BORDERLAND DREAM

A deep dive into the world of the Mexican drug cartels and their unexpected relationship with quarter horse breeding and racing in the southwestern United States.

In his first book, former Dallas Observer editor Tone concentrates on the span of time between 2008 and 2013, and he ably keeps a large cast of characters in play. Chief among these are brothers Miguel and José Treviño, FBI agent Scott Lawson, and horse breeder Tyler Graham. He emphasizes the contrast between Miguel and José. Miguel, who later called himself “Quarenta” or “Forty,” became the infamously violent leader of Los Zetas cartel. Meanwhile, José crossed the border to the U.S. to work as a mason and become an American citizen. However, after he had been in America decades, he suddenly started purchasing racehorses for large amounts of cash, including a young stallion nicknamed “Huesos,” or “Bones,” for his gawky build. The FBI, in a team led by newbie Lawson, who had recently moved to Texas, began investigating the strong possibility that Forty was using his brother to launder drug money. In the process, Lawson recruited Graham, who ran the ranch that housed Huesos, as an informant. Throughout the book, Tone maintains a vivid and balanced narrative; he tells the story clearly, relatively objectively, and without oversimplification. The author is somewhat hampered by the fact that only Lawson would consent to talk with him, which makes the agent come across as the most well-rounded and sympathetic character. However, Tone does his best to understand the other people involved, using thorough research to get a palpable sense of their lives and motivations.

A suspenseful story as well as a fascinating depiction of the mechanics of money laundering, the largely unfamiliar world of quarter horse racing, and the dynamics of an extended family, the book draws readers into the complexities of life at the border.

Pub Date: Aug. 8, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8129-8960-1

Page Count: 368

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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