Over the past dozen years, the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University has hosted annual scholarly symposia resulting in edited collections of uncommon quality and coherence. With Bridging National Borders in North America, editors Benjamin Johnson and Andrew Graybill improve upon this already distinguished tradition. The collection’s incisive introduction and ten original essays, ranging from the mid-nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries, cover a range of approaches to the histories of the US-Mexican and the US-Canadian border regions. While the northern boundary has attracted far less attention than its southern counterpart, scholarship on both has blossomed in the past decade. These historiographies rarely intersect. Bridging National Borders seizes that neglected opportunity.

Part 1, “Peoples In Between,” examines communities with enduring connections across new borders. Miguel Ángel González-Quiroga considers the borderland of Texas and northeastern Mexico from 1840 to 1880, a period known for violence and...

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