Two Nations Indivisible

Mexico, the United States, and the Road Ahead

Oxford University Press, April 2013

A lawless border shootout with American guns in Mexican hands. Tragic stories of immigrants dying in the desert while heading north. Decapitations, kidnappings, and body counts. These sorts of grim tales dominate the media, infiltrate movies and TV shows, and ultimately shape Americans’ perception of Mexico as a dangerous country, overrun by brutal drug lords.

“a brilliant, well-documented roadmap…Leaders, public and private, on both sides of the border should take note.”
Carla A. Hills, former U.S. Trade Representative, and Chairman and CEO of Hills & Company

Without a doubt, the drug war is real. In the last six years, more than 60,000 people have been murdered in narco-related crimes. But there is far more to Mexico’s story than this gruesome narrative would suggest.

Hidden behind the headlines is a hopeful Mexico, one undergoing rapid and widespread social, political, and economic transformations. It is one of a globally competitive economy, a rising middle class, and increasingly influential pro-democracy voters. It is a thriving Mexico whose people, communities, companies, and commerce are intricately tied to the United States.

In her groundbreaking book, Two Nations Indivisible, Shannon K. O’Neil argues that the United States is making a grave mistake by focusing on the politics of antagonism toward Mexico. Rather, America should wake up to the revolution of prosperity now unfolding there.

This is the Mexico Americans need to get to know. Now more than ever, the two countries are indivisible. It is past time for the United States to forge a new relationship with its southern neighbor. In no uncertain terms, America’s future depends on it.

Praise for Two Nations Indivisible

"Shannon O'Neil has combined her deep knowledge of Mexico with illuminating anecdotes and insightful analysis to set out the opportunities and challenges for Mexico and to persuasively make the case that a successful Mexico is of vital importance to the United States. In that context, she thoughtfully explores the policy paths that Mexico and the United States should pursue to realize the potential for Mexico's success that she strongly believes in. And, while this discussion is serious and important, it is also well written and engrossing."

Robert E. Rubin, former U.S. Treasury Secretary

"170 must-read pages"

Tom Keene, Editor-at-Large, Bloomberg News

"Wedded—for better or for worse. Trade booms, they reshape each other's societies, and Mexico democratizes. Yet, Mexico's thugs get weapons in the United States; U.S. kids get cocaine from Mexico. Shannon O'Neil's smart, articulate, well-researched, and illuminating book sheds light on this binational intimacy, its tragedies and hopes, and sets the path for a better future."

Jorge Domínguez, professor and Vice Provost for International Affairs, Harvard University

"Two Nations Indivisible provides a brilliant, well-documented roadmap showing how and why the United States and Mexico could and should collaborate to solve shared economic, social, and security challenges and in doing so advance their respective national interests. Leaders, public and private, on both sides of the border should take note."

Carla A. Hills, former U.S. Trade Representative

"Shannon K. O'Neil's Two Nations Indivisible challenges us to delve beyond how and what we think of Mexico and its splashy headlines. Shannon has written an absorbing book about our two nations' common border and mutual destiny, a critical read to grasp turbulent but pivotal and promising Mexico. This is a revealing, fresh look into a country undergoing transformation, a book brimming with insight and thoughtfulness about a strange and difficult neighbor that many of us claim to know, yet so few of us really understand. I was instantly captivated."

Alfredo Corchado, Mexico correspondent for the Dallas Morning News, and author of Midnight in Mexico

"Two Nations Indivisible is an in depth analysis of the relationship between two nations that together can play a major role in the 21st century."

Claudio X. Gonzalez, Chairman, Mexico Business Council

"The U.S.-Mexico relationship is as complex as it is misunderstood. Shannon O'Neil provides a lucid and timely correction to the many myths that have long plagued this relationship."

Moises Naim, Senior Associate in the International Economics Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and author of The End of Power

"A good political and economic history of modern Mexico, the book will be of interest to those seeking a deeper understanding of the country."

Publishers Weekly