On The Line

Book Review



On The Line


Erich Krauss with  Alex Pacheco


Citadel Press, New York, NY



Reviewed By:

Frank Fogg

Review Date:

September, 2004


On the Line describes the challenges that the United States Border Patrol must meet as they guard the borders of the country against a variety of threats.

Starting in the 1800's, the government of the United States began to see a need to control  the borders of the country. In those days, the agents were poorly trained, equipped,  and poorly paid, but they managed some degree of success in guarding the United States.

Due to the political implications of their task, their duties have been changed  a number of times. Early needs were to prevent the illegal influx of Chinese workers into the country and to guard against incursions by banditos from Mexico.  These needs changed during the two World Wars and they were tasked to address the issue of undocumented workers and drugs imports during the 1960's.

In addition to the text, there are a number of interesting pictures of the patrol  over the course of their history in two sections of the book. The author goes on to describe the intense training and special missions that this organization  has to address in the 21st century as the scope of their mission increases.

This is an interesting glimpse into this under-equipped, yet highly motivated  division of the United States Government. It is well-written and to the point. It covers the history of the United States Border Patrol through the modern  era and shows what it is like to walk the line today.


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