The legendary travel writer drives the entire length of the US–Mexico border, then takes the back roads of Chiapas and Oaxaca, to uncover the rich, layered world behind the everyday headlines. Paul Theroux has spent his life crisscrossing the globe in search of the histories and peoples that give life to the places they call home. Now, as immigration debates boil around the world, Theroux has set out to explore a country key to understanding our current discourse: Mexico. Just south of the Arizona border, in the desert region of Sonora, he finds a place brimming with vitality, yet visibly marked by both the US Border Patrol to the north and mounting discord from within. With the same humanizing sensibility that he employed in Deep South, Theroux stops to talk with residents, visits Zapotec mill workers in the highlands, and attends a Zapatista party meeting, communing with people of all stripes who remain south of the border even as family members brave the journey north. From the writer praised for his “curiosity and affection for humanity in all its forms” (The New York Times Book Review), On the Plain of Snakes is an exploration of a region in conflict.