Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, Mar 21, 2013 - Business & Economics - 454 pages
10 Reviews
America is a smuggler nation. Our long history of illicit imports has ranged from West Indies molasses and Dutch gunpowder in the 18th century, to British industrial technologies and African slaves in the 19th century, to French condoms and Canadian booze in the early 20th century, to Mexican workers and Colombian cocaine in the modern era. Providing a sweeping narrative history from colonial times to the present, Smuggler Nation is the first book to retell the story of America—and of its engagement with its neighbors and the rest of the world—as a series of highly contentious battles over clandestine commerce. As Peter Andreas demonstrates in this provocative and fascinating account, smuggling has played a pivotal and too often overlooked role in America's birth, westward expansion, and economic development, while anti-smuggling campaigns have dramatically enhanced the federal government's policing powers. The great irony, Andreas tells us, is that a country that was born and grew up through smuggling is today the world's leading anti-smuggling crusader. In tracing America's long and often tortuous relationship with the murky underworld of smuggling, Andreas provides a much-needed antidote to today's hyperbolic depictions of out of control borders and growing global crime threats. Urgent calls by politicians and pundits to regain control of the nation's borders suffer from a severe case of historical amnesia, nostalgically implying that they were ever actually under control. This is pure mythology, says Andreas. For better and for worse, America's borders have always been highly porous. Far from being a new and unprecedented danger to America, the illicit underside of globalization is actually an old American tradition. As Andreas shows, it goes back not just years but centuries. And its impact has been decidedly double-edged, not only subverting but also empowering America.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4
4 stars
5
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
1 star
0

Review: Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America

User Review  - Leah - Goodreads

Great perspective on an interesting subject matter, and solid writing makes it interesting and easy to read. Read full review

Review: Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America

User Review  - Richard Ward - Goodreads

4.5 stars. Entertaining history of smuggling within, into, and out of the United States. Written in a friendly, easy to read style. I would have liked a little humor mixed in. There are whole areas of ... Read full review

Contents

A Nation of Smugglers
1
THE COLONIAL ERA
11
THE EARLY REPUBLIC
61
WESTWARD EXPANSION SLAVERY AND THE CIVIL WAR
113
THE GILDED AGE AND THE PROGRESSIVE ERA
175
INTO THE MODERN AGE
251
Epilogue
353
Notes
357
Index
427
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2013)


Peter Andreas is a professor in the Department of Political Science and the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. He was previously an Academy Scholar at Harvard University, a Research Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and an SSRC-MacArthur Foundation Fellow on International Peace and Security. Andreas has written numerous books, published widely in scholarly journals and policy magazines, presented Congressional testimony, written op-eds for major newspapers, and provided frequent media commentary.

Bibliographic information