Smuggler Nation How Illicit Trade Made America

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 6/1/2014
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $59!
    Your order must be $59 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
  • We Buy This Book Back!
    In-Store Credit: $1.05
    Check/Direct Deposit: $1.00
List Price: $19.95 Save up to $10.14
  • Rent Book $10.97
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Used and Rental copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


America is a smuggler nation. Our long history of illicit imports has ranged from West Indies molasses and Dutch gunpowder in the 18th century, to British industrial technologies and African slaves in the 19th century, to French condoms and Canadian booze in the early 20th century, to Mexican workers and Colombian cocaine in the modern era. Contraband capitalism, it turns out, has been an integral part of American capitalism.

Providing a sweeping narrative history from colonial times to the present, Smuggler Nation is now available in paperback to retell the story of America -- and of its engagement with its neighbors and the rest of the world -- as a series of highly contentious battles over clandestine commerce. As Peter Andreas demonstrates in this provocative and fascinating work, smuggling has played a pivotal and too often overlooked role in America's birth, westward expansion, and economic development, while anti-smuggling campaigns have dramatically enhanced the federal government's policing powers. The great irony, Andreas tells us, is that a country that was born and grew up through smuggling is today the world's leading anti-smuggling crusader.

In tracing America's long and often tortuous relationship with the murky underworld of smuggling, Andreas provides a much-needed antidote to today's hyperbolic depictions of out-of-control borders and growing global crime threats. Urgent calls by politicians and pundits to regain control of the nation's borders suffer from a severe case of historical amnesia, nostalgically implying that they were ever actually under control. This is pure mythology, says Andreas. For better and for worse, America's borders have always been highly porous.

Far from being a new and unprecedented danger to America, the illicit underside of globalization is actually an old American tradition. As Andreas shows, it goes back not just decades but centuries. And its impact has been decidedly double-edged, not only subverting U.S. laws but also helping to fuel America's evolution from a remote British colony to the world's pre-eminent superpower.

Author Biography

Peter Andreas is a professor in the Department of Political Science and the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. He was previously an Academy Scholar at Harvard University, a Research Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and an SSRC-MacArthur Foundation Fellow on International Peace and Security. Andreas has written numerous books, published widely in scholarly journals and policy magazines, presented Congressional testimony, written op-eds for major newspapers, and provided frequent media commentary.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Nation of Smugglers

PART I. The Colonial Era
1. The Golden Age of Illicit Trade
2. The Smuggling Road to Revolution
3. The Smuggling War of Independence

PART II. The Early Republic
4. Contraband and Embargo Busting in the New Nation
5. Traitorous Traders and Patriot Pirates
6. The Illicit Industrial Revolution

PART III. Westward Expansion, Slavery, and the Civil War
7. Bootleggers and Fur Traders in Indian Country
8. Illicit Slavers and the Perpetuation of the Slave Trade
9. Blood Cotton and Blockade-Runners

PART IV. The Gilded Age and the Progressive Era
10. Tariff Evaders and Enforcers
11. Sex, Smugglers, and Purity Crusaders
12. Coming to America Through the Backdoor
13. Rumrunners and Prohibitionists

PART V. Into the Modern Age
14. America's Century-long Drug War
15. Border Wars and the Underside of Economic Integration
16. America and Illicit Globalization in the 21st Century


Rewards Program

Write a Review