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The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez: A Border Story

What happens when a undocumented teen mother takes on the immigration system?

Taking us into detention centers, immigration courts, and the inner lives of Aida and other daring characters, The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez reveals the human consequences of militarizing what was once a more forgiving border. With emotional force and narrative suspense, Aaron Bobrow-Strain brings us into the heart of a violently unequal America. He also shows us that the heroes of our current immigration wars are less likely to be perfect paragons of virtue than complex, flawed human beings who deserve justice and empathy all the same.


"Searing . . . A rich, novelistic tale of a young woman whose life spans both sides of the United States-Mexican border . . . [Aida's] a radiantly optimistic character in a relentlessly bleak, unlucky world....The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez is an illuminating work of literature, not an ideological tract." ―Michelle Goldberg, The New York Times Book Review


"Aida's story―of border flight, immigration court, for-profit detention, and family separation―is required reading in the age of Trump." ―Rosa Furneaux, Mother Jones


"This is a riveting and distressing account of one woman's immigration nightmare, and a well-researched argument against the status quo in border security." Publishers Weekly


"Bobrow-Strain...tells the dramatic true tale of a woman he calls Aida Hernandez with extraordinary clarity and power . . .[T]his caring and unforgettable borderland saga...reveals the profound personal toll of the immigration crisis." ―Donna Seaman, Booklist (Starred Review)


"[Bobrow-Strain] brightly illuminate[s] immigration realities by focusing on the struggles of one young woman . . . [A] powerful saga . . . This potent, important work...adds much to the continuing immigration debate." ―Kirkus (Starred Review)


"[A] lyrical and intimate account . . . Hernandez is never reduced to a lecture prop. She is the protean American, in search of herself, re-inventing as she must." ―Oscar Villalon, Lit Hub

White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf

How did white bread, once an icon of American progress, become "white trash"? In this lively history of bakers, dietary crusaders, and social reformers, Aaron Bobrow-Strain shows us that what we think about the humble, puffy loaf says a lot about who we are and what we want our society to look like.

White Bread teaches us that when Americans debate what one should eat, they are also wrestling with larger questions of race, class, immigration, and gender. As Bobrow-Strain traces the story of bread, from the first factory loaf to the latest gourmet pain au levain, he shows how efforts to champion "good food" reflect dreams of a better society-even as they reinforce stark social hierarchies.

Intimate Enemies: Landowners, Power, and Violence in Chiapas

Intimate Enemies: Landowners, Power, and Violence in Chiapas (Duke University 2007) grew out of sixteen months of interviews with powerful coffee planters, pistoleros, and the peasant groups that fought against them in southern Mexico.