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The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today Paperback – Aug 23 2010
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From the Inside Flap
"Most Americans believe that slavery in our country ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. They are wrong. As Kevin Bales and Ron Soodalter document in this excellent volume, human bondage is a reality for thousands of children, women and men living in the United States. The Slave Next Door exposes slavery in today's America in all its forms, and sounds a call to arms to government, corporations, and private citizens alike."Kerry Kennedy, Founder, Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights
"This is a book to make you angry. From Florida field workers who pick some of the fruits and vegetables we eat to prisoners in China who make desk lamps we can buy at Wal-Mart, Bales and Soodalter show us the manifold ways that unfree labor is woven into the American economy. And, most important, they show us what we can do to stop it."Adam Hochschild, author of Bury the Chains and King Leopold's Ghost
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Meticulously researched (over 30 pages of appendices and notes) and compelling, it documents not only the problem but a well thought out plan of action for government, law enforcement and NGOs. The authors also spell out ways for ordinary citizens to do right by their fellow human beings.
This book should be required reading for every legislator, law enforcement officer and religious leader in the country.
One of the more worthy facts and illustrative stories in "Slave" is that sex slavery accounts for a smaller part of slavery in the U.S. than docudramas on TV suggest: agricultural, small-business, and even domestic household slavery all are huge businesses. Individual stories are sometimes heartbreaking and often frustrating in their outcomes as public and private agencies fight, often valiantly but with often with little or no useful result, to help men, women, and children who have been grabbed, tricked, or otherwise spun by a web of lies and violence into a world they never wanted or expected and don't know how to handle. The chapters are arranged such that it is quite possible to read and focus on just a few to gain important knowledge on specific aspects of the slave trade in the U.S.
What are the book's weaknesses? It is somewhat repetitive, partly to get its points across and partly, I would assume, from the author's assumption that many people will in fact choose just a few chapters to read. There is also, especially in the final chapters, quite a bit of advocacy for change, not to mention intricate details of state and federal laws, mandates, and organizations, little of which helped or attracted me as a reader. On the other hand, I have to admit I'm glad these details are there--on the record--for individuals and groups who might need them to help create new organizations or projects to fight U.S. slavery. One more wish I had is that even though books like this normally don't have illustrations, I would have enjoyed having photos or even a short photo section of eight to sixteen pages--especially after seeing TV documentaries about such slavery--so that I could see the faces of those who were enslaved and those who enslaved them.
But these are minor concerns. In all, I strongly recommend "Slaves" to anyone interested in the subject.
To my surprise, I am only the third person to review THE SLAVE NEXT DOOR on this web site. I don't know if that means the book is not selling as well as it should or if people just don't want to talk about slavery, even if they read about it. As I write this in October 2009, DEMOCRACY NOW! is the only broadcasting program I follow to run a story on THE SLAVE NEXT DOOR. I promoted the book to a local newspaper reporter who was covering the trial of a human trafficking operator and hope others talk it up to journalists, too. While there is no shortage of injustice in the world, whatever things could quantify as worse than slavery, there can't be many.
Read and promote THE SLAVE NEXT DOOR.