In this riveting book, authors and authorities on modern slavery Kevin Bales and Ron Soodalter expose the disturbing phenomenon of human trafficking and slavery that exists now in the United States. In The Slave Next Door we find that these horrific human rights violations are all around us; people sold into slavery are often hidden in plain sight: the dishwasher in the kitchen of the neighborhood restaurant, the kids on the corner selling cheap trinkets, the man sweeping the floor of the local department store. In these pages we also meet some unexpected modern-day slave owners, such as a 27-year old middle-class Texas housewife who is currently serving a life sentence for offences including slavery. Weaving together a wealth of voices—from slaves, slaveholders, and traffickers as well as from experts, counselors, law enforcement officers, rescue and support groups, and community leaders—this book is also a call to action, telling what we, as private citizens and political activists, can do to raise community awareness, hold politicians accountable, and finally bring an end to this horrific and traumatic crime.
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.