In this riveting book, authors and authorities on modern day 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 slaves are all around us, 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 slaveholders, 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 others—this book is also a call to action, telling what we, as private citizens, can do to finally bring an end to this horrific crime.
Preface to the Paperback Edition
PART I: SLAVES IN THE LAND OF THE FREE
1. The Old Slavery and the New
2. House Slaves
3. Slaves in the Pastures of Plenty
4. Supply and Demand
5. New Business Models
6. Eating, Wearing, Walking, and Talking Slavery
PART II: THE FINAL EMANCIPATION
7. Slaves in the Neighborhood
8. States of Confusion
9. The Feds
10. A Future without Slavery
Appendix: For Further Information
Kevin Bales is the author of Ending Slavery and Disposable People, both from UC Press. He is also Co-Founder of Free the Slaves, Washington DC, and Professor of Contemporary Slavery at the WIlberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation at the University of Hull. He is the world's leading expert on contemporary slavery.
Ron Soodalter, historian, folklorist, and lecturer, is the author of Hanging Captain Gordon: The Life and Trial of an American Slave Trader, as well as articles on the historic and modern slave trade, the Civil War, and the American West. A respected Lincolnian scholar, he serves on the Board of the Abraham Lincoln Institute.
"Once again, Kevin Bales and Ron Soodalter make us confront a tragic reality—there are as many as 27 million people trapped in modern slavery worldwide. In this book, we hear the voices of survivors and those who are fighting every day for freedom."—Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Chair of the House Judiciary Committee
"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