The Slave Next Door (Paperback)

Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today

By Kevin Bales, Ron Soodalter

University of California Press, 9780520268661, 336pp.

Publication Date: August 23, 2010

List Price: 29.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


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. 

About the Author

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.

Praise For The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today

“An informative call to action . . . a humane and helpful primer on how to sever the links that create and hide human bondage.”

— Publishers Weekly

“Will likely change the way you understand your community.”

— Deborah Fink

“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

"Essential reading for anyone interested in human rights. . . . [The authors] appeal to the reader's sense of justice and compassion."

— Tiffany Williams

"If you read one book on human trafficking this year, make it The Slave Next Door. . . . Digestible, enjoyable, and ultimately uplifting."


"With the help of this great book . . . we can shift from ignoring this crude reality to [eradicating] this abominable practice."

— African Politics Portal

“An arresting volume.”

— History Wire