From Publishers Weekly
Today there are more slaves than at any time in history, according to journalist Skinner's report on current and former slaves and slave dealers. Skinner's travelogue-cum-indictment focuses most sharply on Haiti, Sudan, Romania and India, and is interspersed with a detailed account of the work of John Miller, director of the State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, or America's antislavery czar. Skinner reiterates that sexual trafficking is only one component of slavery, but devotes the bulk of this book (when it is not following Miller's State Department career) to this issue. The text teeters toward the travelogue, taking the reader to Dubai's most notorious brothel and Skinner's adventures in pos[ing] as a client to talk to women... [or] as an arms dealer to talk to traffickers. Nevertheless, Skinner's story merits reading, and not just because the cause is noble and the detail often fascinating, such as the moral complications of Christian Solidarity International's redemption or purchase of 85,000 slaves' freedom. Skinner's account of the internal workings of the State Department and the deep links to faith-based antislavery groups and their special interests is seriously newsworthy and, at times, moving. (Mar.)
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"An impassioned exposé of a thriving slave economy in the world's poorest regions...An important, consciousness-raising book." --Kirkus Reviews
"Rigorously investigated and fearlessly reported, A Crime So Monstrous
is a passionate and thorough examination of the appalling reality of human bondage in today's world. In his devastating narrative, Ben Skinner boldly casts light on the unthinkable, yet thriving, modern-day practice of slavery, exposing a global trade in human lives. The abuses detailed in these pages are repugnant, but there is hope to be found: by giving voice to the victims, Skinner helps restore their dignity and makes crucial strides toward closing this shameful chapter in history." --Bill Clinton
"In his fierce, bold determination to see the lives of modern-day slaves up close, Benjamin Skinner reminds me of the British abolitionist of two hundred years ago, Zachary Macaulay, who once traveled on a slave ship across the Atlantic, taking notes. Skinner goes everywhere, from border crossings to brothels to bargaining sessions with dealers in human beings, to bring us this vivid, searing account of the wide network of human trafficking and servitude which spans today's globe." -- Adam Hochschild
"A great storyteller, Skinner brings the whole underworld of traffickers and their victims to life. At the same time, he shows how complex the phenomenon really is, and why the solutions of would-be abolitionists in this country have proven misguided or simply futile." -- Frances FitzGerald
"A Crime So Monstrous
is a remarkably brave and unflinching piece of reportage and storytelling. E. Benjamin Skinner bears witness, sharing stories so unsettling, so neglected, so chilling they will leave you shaking with anger. This should be required reading for policy makers around the world -- and, for that matter, anyone concerned about the human condition." -- Alex Kotlowitz
"Ben Skinner does a great public service by exposing the massive scope of human trafficking in the world today. I appreciate his chapter on the heroic role Ambassador John Miller played in getting the U.S. government to stand against this evil." -- U.S. Senator John McCain
"This book exposes the horrors of modern-day slavery and human trafficking, demanding attention to an issue that has for too long hidden in the shadows. Skinner's narrative takes us many different places around the world, but can lead to only one conclusion: The U.S. must do more to end this suffering." -- U.S. Senator Russ Feingold