Kevin Bales is a recognized world authority on the generally hidden phenomenon of modern slavery; he best known for Disposable People (1999), a standard and influential text in classrooms and with policy makers. Ending Slavery (2007) is his latest book which reveals updated information and additional heartbreaking stories, balanced by optimistic practical solutions for the audacious goal of ending slavery around the world. Either one of these books would be an excellent place to start learning about modern slavery for the average reader. While slavery can be a depressing subject, Ending Slavery is ultimately uplifting because of its success stories, of solutions working, of the world becoming a better place and ways to keep the momentum going. By the end of the book there is a practical plan of what to do next for everyone from the concerned citizen, community leader, governments and NGO.
Modern slavery is largely hidden from view because, unlike in the 19th century and earlier, slavery today is illegal everywhere and- like drugs- the problem has gone underground. There are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world today - by comparison in the entire 350 year history of the African slave trade, about 13 million slaves were brought to the New World. When talking about modern slavery this comparison to the African slave trade is often made, and for good reason, our culture is saturated with the history of slavery from the movie "Roots", the book "Uncle Tom's Cabin" or Civil War history. If this cultural outrage of history were channeled to help modern slaves alive and toiling away today, imagine the good, but it starts with awareness. Most people don't know the basics of modern slavery: What is a modern slave? Where are they? What do they do? What can we do about it? This book answers those questions.
As the cover-picture of the book suggests, a happy discovery awaits within. After slavery comes freedom. New found freedom is one of the most rewarding experiences imaginable, both for slaves and those who help free them. It is no accident Lincoln, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Desmond Tutu and others are among the most revered and popular leaders; or that the first and oldest human rights organization in the world is an anti-slave group (which still exists in England, connected to Kevin Bales). The struggle for freedom is far from over, and its happening everywhere from the suburbs of Washington DC to the cocoa (chocolate) plantations of Africa. Take the time to learn how slavery impacts us all, and what to do about it.
There are a number of free films online that tie into the book. In particular _Slavery: A Global Investigation _and _Dreams Die Hard_ detail some of the same people and stories in the book, including interviews with Bales.