Travel to unique border towns across America and explore how boundaries, frontiers, and marginality shape local history—and our lives.
There’s something fascinating about border towns. Who hasn’t crossed the line into another state to buy fireworks, gamble, or even to get married? Here are border towns with names as unique as the places themselves, names that bridge the boundaries.
Robert D. Temple brings you a quirky, fascinating, and wholly entertaining look at more than eighty North American border towns in Edge Effects. With an adventurer’s heart and a historian’s keen eye, Temple explores life on the edge and how these places have made their place in history. There’s big-city Mexicali and empty-quarter Idavada, idyllic Vir-Mar Beach and whiskey-soaked Mondak. Then there’s prairie-bleak Alsask, mountain-high Wyocolo, and palmy Florala. And who could forget Texarkana?
Along with finding these towns in the first place comes adventure in exploring them, by highway, four-wheel-drive, boots, and kayak, and in encountering memorable locals: historians, farmers, waitresses, cops, forest rangers, railroaders, and ne’er-do-wells. But even more, these places lead us to investigate concepts of borders, boundaries, frontiers, margins, and marginality, as well as survey lines, battle lines, picket lines, and color lines.
Edge Effects brilliantly examines how frontiers enrich cultures and boundaries define them. But more importantly, it reveals how edges shape local history—and our lives.