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By: Yeeun Lee

When I Wear My Alligator Boots is an ethnography written by Shaylih Muehlmann, an anthropologist. The book shows how drugs are a major global and public health issue today. Muehlmann highlights the issues that narco-trafficking along the U.S.-Mexico border has had on ordinary Mexican civilians living in northern border towns. While the war on drugs has brought crime and violence into these towns, it has also brought opportunities and social mobility for many of the individuals living in these poor rural towns. Based on her personal experiences and interactions with people, Muehlmann tells the story of ordinary citizens who are often brought into the drug trade not by choice, but out of necessity. All in all, the book offers a different narrative that deviates from the powerful cartel leaders and focuses on the individuals who carry their drugs, the women who make their food, and the small businessmen who launder money for them and often pay the price.