Borderlands history continues to grow in popularity on both sides of the Mexico-U.S. border. Systematic studies of la frontera, from authors as varied as Ramón Gutiérrez, Andrés Reséndez, and David Weber, among others, point to the vitality of the border region as an important site of cultural, social, and physical exchange. Editor Andrew Grant Wood adds On the Border to this growing body of scholarship. Using a multidisciplinary approach, Wood has collected a wide-ranging, what he calls “eclectic,” set of essays that originally appeared as a special issue of the Journal of the Southwest. All of the essays are topnotch, but they are not all studies of the borderland, which makes this collection somewhat frustrating.

Eric Michael Schantz’s “All Night at the Owl” is a particularly notable addition to this volume. Schantz examines Mexicali’s Owl Café and Theatre, a center for vice tourism from the 1910s through the...

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