Unbroken Chains: The Hidden Role of Human Trafficking in the American Economy

Beacon. May 2023. 240p. ISBN 9780807006771. $29.95. SOC SCI
Human rights consultant Ditmore (Encyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work) has written another comprehensive book filled with case study evidence and scholarly depth about human trafficking in the United States. The book includes sections on trafficking in sales, agriculture, and domestic work, on the industry itself, and on its infrastructure. There are lucid—and often harrowing—accounts of the ways in which people have been coerced, abused, and sometimes killed as a result of human trafficking. Historical details from the 17th century to the present (Jeffrey Epstein is mentioned) consider legislative and human rights efforts to address these crimes. Perhaps more importantly, the book notes the numerous ways that businesses and politicians (e.g., J. Edgar Hoover) have taken corrupt measures to achieve their own agendas. Many similar books end when they bring the narrative up-to-date, but this book’s final chapter is “What Kind of Help Is Truly Helpful?” The author asserts that community-based initiatives are more likely to succeed in helping human trafficking victims than anything involving law enforcement or immigration agents.
VERDICT There’s contact information for the Freedom Network USA and lists of specific actions for readers to take if or when they suspect instances of human trafficking. Libraries need this.
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