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

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Product Details
$29.95  $27.85
Beacon Press
Publish Date
5.98 X 9.06 X 1.02 inches | 1.05 pounds

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About the Author
Melissa Ditmore is a freelance consultant specializing in issues of gender, development, health and human rights. She holds a PhD in sociology from the City University of New York and has published several previous books on sex work and prostitution. Her consulting clients have included the United Nations, the US Agency for International Development, and the Hilton Foundation. Her writing has also appeared in outlets such as HuffPost, The Guardian, and the Daily Beast.
"This searing exposé reveals the dark underbelly of the US economy . . . Knowledgable, empathetic, and impassioned, Ditmore is an expert tour guide through this harrowing landscape. Readers will be moved to take action."
--Publishers Weekly

"A stirring and compassionate book."

"An extraordinary guide to the long, shameful history of human trafficking in the United States . . . Anyone concerned with human trafficking or workers' rights will find this book invaluable."
--Debby Applegate, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, author of Madam: The Biography of Polly Adler, Icon of the Jazz Age

"By delving into the particulars of human trafficking in its many forms, Unbroken Chains provides a much-needed antidote to the sensationalist rescue narratives that have dominated social policy discourse."
--Alex S. Vitale, author of The End of Policing

"A thoughtful, well-written account of the many forms of forced and fraudulent labor that operate in the United States today. It positions sex trafficking within a larger pattern of forced labor, exposing how authorities overpolice sex work while tending to ignore coercive labor outside of prostitution. . . . As important, it details a vivid set of life histories of survivors who go on to fight exploitative businesses and to demand justice."
--Judith Walkowitz, author of City of Dreadful Delight: Narratives of Sexual Danger in Late-Victorian London

"Unbroken Chains is an impassioned plea to acknowledge sex work as work and address exploitation in all types of labor. Ditmore's blueprint for the recognition of abuse offers a new approach to assisting survivors and a much-needed infusion of hope."
--Lizzie Borden, filmmaker, director of Born in Flames and Working Girls

"Unbroken Chains is essential reading for anyone interested in racial capitalism, fair labor, and victim self-advocacy. Melissa Ditmore's clear-eyed analysis cuts through the sensationalistic media images of young white girls forced into prostitution to expose the truth about human trafficking. She shows us that it's a form of extreme labor exploitation rooted in the institution of American slavery, whose unresolved legacy continues to shape our present-day labor laws, particularly in the realms of domestic and agricultural work. Ditmore convincingly argues that we must stop criminalizing victims of human trafficking and instead fight for policies that empower them."
--Grace Cho, author of the National Book Award finalist Tastes Like War