A magnificent story of the chaotic life along the 14-mile U.S.-Mexican border between San Diego and Tijuana. Rotella covered the U.S.-Mexican border from 1991 to 1996 for the Los Angeles Times, where he is now Latin America bureau chief. He has created a rich and detailed tableau against which he portrays the simultaneous process of democratization and violence within Mexico and a locale where the best and the worst of U.S. and Mexican societies collide and blend. He gives an intimate picture of drug kingpins, both corrupt and courageous policemen, young immigrant boys high on octane booster selling their bodies in Balboa Park, and trans-border street gang members caught up in high Mexican politics. Rotella sees the contradictions of Mexico reaching a breaking point in the 1990s along this tumultuous no man's land.