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The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today Paperback – August 23, 2010


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Frequently Bought Together

The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today + Human Trafficking: A Global Perspective + Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; With a New Preface edition (August 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520268660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520268661
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Although most people imagine widespread enslavement only in the historical past, human trafficking continues to exist today in myriad forms around the world. In this informative call to action, Bales (Disposable People), sociologist and president of Free the Slaves, and Soodalter (Hanging Captain Gordon), a historian, document routine coercive slave labor in domestic service, prostitution, farm labor, factories, light industry, prisons and mining operations. While many sensational cases have been well publicized, the authors demonstrate that slavery exists in mundane and unexpected forms. Their case studies begin in an American suburb and traverse the globe to urban China and rural Ghana, returning to Los Angeles, Calif., and East Orange, N.J., just a few of 100-plus documented cases in the U.S. The second half of the book focuses on causes and solutions, with a helpful emphasis on how ordinary individuals can recognize and report coercive situations, creating a humane and helpful primer on how to sever the links that create and hide human bondage. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“An informative call to action . . . a humane and helpful primer on how to sever the links that create and hide human bondage.”
(Publishers Weekly 2009-05-04)

“Will likely change the way you understand your community.”
(Deborah Fink Friends Journal 2010-05-07)

“Anyone wanting a better understanding of the ongoing problem of slavery in the United States—and their own role in perpetuating or eradicating it—should read this book.”
(Charles Song California Lawyer 2010-01-01)

"Essential reading for anyone interested in human rights. . . . [The authors] appeal to the reader's sense of justice and compassion."
(Tiffany Williams Foreign Policy In Focus 2009-05-18)

"If you read one book on human trafficking this year, make it The Slave Next Door. . . . Digestible, enjoyable, and ultimately uplifting."
(Change.org 2009-05-14)

"With the help of this great book . . . we can shift from ignoring this crude reality to [eradicating] this abominable practice."
(African Politics Portal 2009-05-13)

“An arresting volume.”
(History Wire 2009-07-14)

More About the Author

Going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders, Kevin Bales exposed how modern slavery penetrates the global economy and flows into the things we buy, he is a leading abolitionist in the last great anti-slavery movement. Bales exposed how modern slavery penetrates the global economy in his Pulitzer-nominated book, Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy. The film based on this book, Slavery: A Global Investigation (TrueVision), which he co-wrote for HBO and Channel 4, won a Peabody Award and two Emmys. His book also inspired a project undertaken by seven Magnum photographers, which he helped to design and write, entitled Documenting Disposable People: Contemporary Global Slavery, which was mounted as a touring exhibition and published as a book by Hayward. Scientific American published his findings as a 9-page fully illustrated feature story. Bales was named as the originator of one of "100 World-Changing Discoveries" by the Association of British Universities and as a "visionary who is changing your world" by Utne Reader. Disposable People went on to publication in ten other languages and won the Premio Viareggio for the Italian edition.

In 2001 he co-founded Free the Slaves, the American sister-organization of the UK's Anti-Slavery International, the world's oldest human rights group. In ten years it has helped to liberate thousands of slaves in India, Nepal, Haiti, Ghana, Brazil, Ivory Coast, and Bangladesh, and work with them to build new lives of dignity. After reading Bales' book Ending Slavery, President Clinton told the plenary of the Clinton Global Initiative: "It tells you that it is a problem we can solve and here's how to do it." Ending Slavery won the 2011 $100,000 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Promoting World Order. In 2008, with Zoe Trodd, he published To Plead Our Own Cause: Personal Stories by Today's Slaves. In 2009, with Ron Soodalter, he published The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today, an expose and plan to make America slave-free for the first time in its history. He is currently writing a book on the relationship between slavery and environmental destruction, and with Jody Sarich a book on forced marriage. He gained his Ph.D. at the London School of Economics.

Hi lives in Brighton, England.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 38 customer reviews
There's only one way to break the chain.
E. Romero
This book will open your eyes and hopefully help spread the awareness of this terrible ugly tragedy that is occurring all around us.
J. Garaguso
The author is well-known as an authority on this very timely topic.
Ronda Pauley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Marsha Veit on July 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
With "The Slave Next Door" Bales and Soodalter have written the definitive work for this recently "hot" social issue.
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.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Richard Jewell on November 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I offer my first- and second-year college writing students a number of books from which to write about each semester on the subject of victims of war, and I allow some of these books to be on war-like conditions: after all, events like rape and murder recreate war episodes to victims even if they are not part of a war. Certainly, "The Slave Next Door" qualifies. While its advocacy against human slavery is clear and strong, it maintains an objectivity and seeks to gather facts in great detail to bolster its assertions that (1) slavery is much more common than most of us realize, (2) many of us see or are affected by it each day in the products we use and the culture we experience, and (3) it won't go away easily or soon. The book is, in these regards, somewhat depressing, but at the same time it is filled with narratives of individual illustrative cases that make it a very interesting read.

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?
Read more ›
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Anna McCall on April 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
Modern slavery and human trafficking are subjects that are near and dear to my heart. Author Kevin Bales is the head of the anti-slavery organization "Free the Slaves," so this book was a natural to go in my reading queue. The information cuts you right to the bone, but the writing is difficult to stay with. Bales is many things, but a writer he is not. You might do just as well to go to the Free the Slaves website and get the information dry.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John D. Ryan on October 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
A major point reflected in the opening chapters of the book is that slave owners can be anybody. Its a frightening, unfortunate, and true message. The woman who enslaved poor Maria looked like a regular ordernary Texan housewife. It made me want to get up, walk out of my house and individually check every house in America for slaves. After reading this book and learning in what kinds of numbers slavery still exists in the country, you will be inspired to help the writers' cause. you cant ask for more in a book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. L LaRegina on October 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I picked up THE SLAVE NEXT DOOR: HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND SLAVERY IN AMERICA TODAY by Kevin Bales and Ron Soodalter after seeing Mr. Bales interviewed on the radio/television news program DEMOCRACY NOW!. While I knew slavery was as widespread as ever in the United States and other countries, this detail-laden book takes that down the abstraction ladder to the kitchen floor where your neighbors make their live-in "maid" sleep. With each page you turn, THE SLAVE NEXT DOOR spins your head with account after account of people either fooled or taken by force into farming, construction, domestic, or sex work without pay - and with violence should they try to escape.

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.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael Griswold VINE VOICE on May 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Most Americans believe that slavery is either dead or something that occurs in far off places to foreign people and thusly does not exist or concern us. Kevin Bales and Ron Soodalter dispels these myths in The Slave Next Door. Through a combination of cold hard facts and personal stories of exploitation, cohesion, and enslavement. Unlike other books that only focus on one aspect of slavery ( like the sex trade), Bales and Soodalter premise is that no form of slavery is justified and talks deeply about systems of agricultural labor, domestics, and sex slavery and argue that the traffickers will continue to find inventive ways to enslave and exploit others. We have a role in the slave system because we get items like hand-woven rugs from India, Pakistan, and Nepal , steel and metals used in cars is obtained from Brazil after the charcoal has been collected by slaves in Brazil and most distressingly we may be eating products produced from slave labor brought to us by America's largest corporations.

Bales and Soodalter further attack the notion that sex trafficking is only a problem for foreign born women in this country by illustrative cases like that of Dennis Paris who used heroin addiction to control several American born, naturalized citizens into a web of prostitution. The last portion of the book is dedicated to an assessment of United States policy towards victims of Modern Day Slavery by going through agency by agency in the federal government and discussing the steps they are taking to combat the problem. One thing that comes out of here is that NGO's that deal with human slavery are hideously under funded and are in desperate need of skilled labor and this is key when he discusses at the end, what we as Americans can do about modern slavery.
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