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Waiting for José:
The Minutemen’s Pursuit of America
Harel Shapira

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [in PDF format]


"Although the book will be of specific interest to those with an interest in migration, security, social movements, and masculinities, it invites a much broader readership. Its narrative style and uncomplicated prose make it accessible to a wider public. This, coupled with its accessible length and topical nature, makes it an ideal text for teaching at any level. Undergraduates and graduate students alike will find this a readable, refreshing, and insightful work."--Maryann Bylander, Journal on Migration and Human Security

"Shapira, an ethnographer, writes with sensitivity and professional detachment."--John Paul Rathbone, Financial Times

"Harel Shapira has crafted a fascinating and insightful account of the complex practices of civic identity in contemporary US society. In all, Waiting for Jose represents a significant contribution to current scholarship on social movements, border rhetorics, and the formation of the US civic imaginary."--D. Robert DeChaine, International Review of Modern Sociology

"Shapira explores the Minutemen's varied motivations exceptionally well, even noting the organization's internal conflicts. His sociological explanations are relevant and help to interpret the Minutemen's culture. . . . Waiting for Jose provides a unique vantage point of individuals experiencing a loss of place in an ever-increasing diverse America."--Leah N. Diaz, Contemporary Rural Social Work

"Shapira has written a fine book about identity construction and masculinity fueled by racism and a longing for community. Very few books on politics do that."--Ronnee Schreiber, Perspectives on Politics

"Shapira provides us with a window into the lives and practices of a group of ideologically inconsistent, sometimes confrontational, yet ultimately sympathetic, civic-minded actors."--Justin Allen Berg, American Journal of Sociology

"Waiting for José brings the Minutemen's experience to the reader still warm. If the explanation is not airtight, it is because the Minutemen in the book are alive."--Nicolas Eilbaum, Contemporary Sociology

"Shapria's balanced approach is quite rare, because he spends much time revealing close details of a conservative movement that was a precursor to the Tea Party; and he accomplishes this by writing with a level of empathy, balanced with professionalism that is refreshingly rare in today's political climate. Waiting for Jose would be a very suitable supplemental textbook for any Sociology or Political Science course dealing with issues of immigration on the United States southern border."--John R. Lewis, Journal of American Studies of Turkey


"Grab your night-vision goggles and your thermal scopes, and join Shapira as he sits with the Minutemen along the jagged Arizona-Mexico border. As the men wait for a José that might never come and yearn together for an America that is long gone--or perhaps, never was--we learn about the dispositions and desires of a group of people that has been consistently misunderstood and misrepresented. A captivating, theoretically inspired narrative in a refreshingly new sociological voice. This is ethnography at its best."--Javier Auyero, author of Patients of the State

"Waiting for José is an empathetic and beautifully written ethnography. It brings into sociological focus the stories of Americans whose patriotism and search for meaningful lives brings them to mount voluntary patrols against illegal immigrants on the U.S. / Mexico border. Media portrayals of these Minutemen are often mere cartoons; Harel Shapira fills out both the human picture and its larger social implications."--Craig Calhoun, director of the London School of Economics and Political Science

"This is a courageous book. Harel Shapira put himself in danger to dig out the story of the Minutemen; he shows a kind of ethical courage as well, by probing sympathetically their thoughts and feelings. His book reveals an 'Other America' whose disappointments and anger the rest of us need to understand. He helps us do this in prose worthy of George Orwell."--Richard Sennett, author of The Corrosion of Character

"Waiting for José is a haunting and important book about the activists who patrol the border between Mexico and the United States, hoping to save their country and redeem their own lives, too. Harel Shapira resists the urge to praise or blame the Minutemen for their campaign against 'illegal immigrants.' Instead he aims to understand how and why they've mobilized, and to explain what their movement means. Every page of this deeply affecting ethnography is on the mark."--Eric Klinenberg, author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone

"Waiting for José critically explores the lifeworlds of the Minuteman Project with care, subtlety, and charm. Shapira demythologizes the Minutemen, poking holes in depictions of them as angry xenophobes with loose triggers, and shows them as vulnerable, ageing men in search of meaning. This portrait of the Minutemen is ultimately a portrait of social isolation and alienation."--Shehzad Nadeem, author of Dead Ringers: How Outsourcing is Changing the Way Indians Understand Themselves

"Shapira has crafted a very readable, entertaining, and highly articulate work. He has a novelist's ability to describe situations, the physical environment, and the individuals in them, and a sociologist's training to be able to place his subjects in a broader sociohistorical landscape."--David C. Brotherton, coauthor of Banished to the Homeland: Dominican Deportees and Their Stories of Exile

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File created: 4/24/2017

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