The Closing of the American Border

The Closing of the American Border

Terrorism, Immigration, and Security Since 9/11

By Edward Alden

Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780061558405, 346pp.

Publication Date: September 15, 2009


On September 10, 2001, the United States was the most open country in the world. But in the aftermath of the worst terrorist attacks on American soil, the U.S. government began to close its borders in an effort to fight terrorism. The Bush administration's goal was to build new lines of defense without stifling the flow of people and ideas from abroad that has helped build the world's most dynamic economy. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way.

Based on extensive interviews with the administration officials who were charged with securing the border after 9/11, and with many innocent people whose lives have been upended by the new security regulations, The Closing of the American Border is a striking and compelling assessment of the dangers faced by a nation that cuts itself off from the rest of the world.

About the Author
Edward Alden is the Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the former Washington bureau chief for The Financial Times.

Praise For The Closing of the American Border

“A thought-provoking study that will leave you looking at our borders in a new light.”
-The San Antonio Express-News

“Alden’s book reads like a case study in good intentions and bad effects.”
-The Wall Street Journal

“In this revealing and richly researched account, Alden describes how the Bush administration came to rely on the blunt instrument of immigration enforcement to carry out its counterterrorism strategy after 9/11.”
-Julia Preston, Foreign Affairs

“Compellingly argued and meticulously researched.”
-Clive Crook, The Financial Times