Charles Bowden

Murder City

Sep 15, 2014

Journalist Charles Bowden has spent some 15 years writing about Ciudad Juarez and in that time, he's witnessed what he describes as the collapse of a society. In 2009, there were 2,600 murders in Juarez - up from around 300 in 2007. Houses sit empty, jobs have disappeared and drug cartels hold the city in their grip. Bowden is in Salt Lake and Thursday, he joins Doug to talk about his new book Murder City.

Exodus

Sep 15, 2014

Some half million undocumented Mexicans come into the US every year. They come looking for work - and while the conditions of those jobs are frequently harsh - they managed to send $23 billion dollars to their families in 2006 alone. A new book by author Charles Bowden and photographer Julian Cardona looks at the lives of the border crossers - from the violent streets of Juarez and life threatening border crossings to their struggles in the United States. Bowden and Cardona join Doug in studio Thursday to talk about "Exodus."

Veteran journalist Charles Bowden drove 7,000 miles on the Mexican-US border - from crossings where masses spend their life savings on horrible journeys, to a dump-site of possessions that forms a tragic monument to illegal immigration, and to the lives of people who will never see their home again. Immigration is a reality, and Bowden says "We either find a way to make their world better or they will come to our better world." Charles Bowden joins Doug to talk about Exodus, his article in the most recent Mother Jones magazine.

Doug Fabrizio talks to Western journalists on their return from the devastation left behind by Hurricane Katrina. He's joined in studio by NPR's rural affairs correspondent Howard Berkes, and Tucson author Charles Bowden who is writing for GQ magazine.

Shadow in the City

Sep 15, 2014

For nearly a decade, Charles Bowden wrote about the illegal drug trade. When he met a narcotics agent Joey O'Shay, he realized both men wanted the same thing, they wanted out. O'Shay had spent more than 20 years undercover and he realized he had stopped believing in what he was doing. But as Bowden points out it's not a story about the drug problem, it's a story of the human heart. His book is called "Shadow in the City."

Friday, we're rebroadcasting one of our conversations with the late writer and journalist Charles Bowden. Bowden's body of work includes his observations about the American psyche, essays on the natural world, and gritty stories about drug violence and other crimes. Many of these stories come from his home in the desert southwest. Bowden died last week at the age of 69. He was regarded as one of the most powerful writers of our time. (Rebroadcast)