Book Review “Devil`s Highway,” A True Story


BookReview: “Devil`sHighway,” A True Story

BookReview: “Devil`sHighway, A True Story”

“Devil`sHighway, A True Story” by Luis Alberto Urrea, Back Bay Books, NewYork, September 19, 2005, 272 pages, Reviewed by ABC ABC.

Thisbook was selected for the review because of the importance of thematter it seeks to address. The book provides a non-fictional storyof the problem of immigration in the United States. I selected thebook because it gives a real account of the dangerous journey byillegal immigrants across the route that is referred to as the“Devil’s Highway.” The fact that the story provides the realcases of the dangers involved in immigration presents a compellingreason why I could not avoid this book.

Thebook is more compelling because of the competency of the author. Theaward winning author, Luis Alberto Urrea is an American poet livingin Chicago, but was born in Tijuana. He was born in 1955 of a Mexicanfather and an American mother. This gives him the multiculturalexperience that qualifies him to tell the story about the immigrationfrom Mexico. He attended undergraduate studies at the University ofCalifornia and graduated and graduated from the University ofColorado. What strikes most is that he served as a relief worker inTijuana, making his understanding of the humanitarian problems thathe writes about in the book. The award winning author was named inthe Latino Literature Hall of Fame after writing thirteen words forthis and other works.

Thethesis of the book is that the story of the 2001 shows the dangersthat illegal immigrants undergo to seek a better life in the UnitedStates. Luis Alberto Urrea presents a case of the 2001 experience ofthe 26 Mexicans to illustrate how many immigrants die in the desertand many other conditions that are exemplified by the “DevilsHighway” route.

Bywriting this book, Luis Alberto Urrea achieved its intended purpose.He achieved this purpose through the presentation of the tragicevents of the 2001 immigration of the 26 Mexicans over the dangerousroute to the United States. The book uses the events to describe theexact problems that the illegal migrants face. The author tells ofthe tragedy of crossing the deadliest region of the Arizona that isfeared by the border patrol. This gives the truth, not only of thelarger boarder death in the immigration experience, but also aheartbreaking journey of illegal immigrants.

Theauthor achieves the purpose through the results that the bookimpacted on the world, and not just the American and Mexican scene.The book caused a serious international attention as the tragedysparked the need to get concerned about the plight of the immigrants.Also called the Wellstone 26, the illegal immigrants shed the lighton the problem of immigration in the United States and the danger itposes. More importantly, the book scored its goal because it openedthe window through which the controversial relationship between theUnited States and Mexico can be explored.

Thefirst chapter presents the scenario and introduces the 26 men whobecome the subject of the purpose of the book. In the second hepresents the concept of the cross they had to carry while the thirdchapter explores the challenges with the authorities, such as theborder control (Urrea, 2005). The preceding chapters further achievethe purpose of the book by describing the reasons, circumstances andsubjects that brought the 26 men to cross the border. This is becausethe book is based on the individual subjects that Luis Alberto Urreapresents in the account of the 26 men.

Inthe final chapters, Urrea develops the purpose of the book byexplaining the financial resources that are allocated to stop theillegal border crossings. This gives the impact that the book made inthe United States. The book called for action as the survivors faceda different fate. According to chapter sixteen, the survivors wereconsidered as heroes. At the same time, the chapter provides detailsof those who ended in jail, such as Mendez.This gives a concluding closure of the account and a book thatfulfills its purpose.

Onestriking reason why Luis Alberto Urrea successfully achieves histhesis in the book is the presentation of the perception thatimmigrants have about the whole experience. In the book, Luis AlbertoUrrea paints the picture of the 26 men and how they viewed America asthe land of opportunity. They perceived that life would be better forthem in the United States and dared the troubles of illegallytravelling to the country (Urrea, 2005). It is this hope and desirefor a better life that powers these men to attempt the dangerouscrossing of the boarder, and perhaps to successfully cross for the 12men who made it.

Insummary, the book presents a compelling account because of its focusin a true story. The thesis of the book reads in the advantage of thetrue account and the authenticity of the case in the historical andsocial context. By providing the true account of the 26 Mexicans,Urrea has successfully presented the state of illegal immigrationinto the United States across the Mexican border. Therefore, the bookis recommended for all the people would want to understand theproblem of illegal immigrants.


Urrea,L.A. (2005). TheDevil`s Highway: A True Story. NewYork: Back Bay Books