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Body Brokers: Inside America's Underground Trade in Human Remains
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Body Brokers: Inside America's Underground Trade in Human Remains

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  177 ratings  ·  36 reviews
“You are a little soul carrying around a corpse.” —Epictetus
“Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will follow.” —Matthew 24:28

Body Brokers is an audacious, disturbing, and compellingly written investigative exposé of the lucrative business of procuring, buying, and selling human cadavers and body parts.

Every year human corpses meant for anatomy classes, burial, or
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 7th 2006 by Broadway (first published 2006)
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♥ Sandi
This book reminds me a lot of The Immoral Life of Henrietta Lacks - which I loved. It takes the disgusting process of brokering human body parts and weaves a really good non-fiction story. It reveals how this business has prospered from the grave robbers of the 1800's right up to the current problems as late as 2006. This book will make you look twice at the funeral, creamation, death process. Beware! 4 stars
It has been a very long time since I was disappointed by a book as much as I have been by this one. Actually, I may never have been quite as disappointed as I was by this one... I was so giddy, after reading the introduction, so excited about what the author promised was to follow, that I called up the individual I had gone to the bookstore with, and thanked her for dragging me out of the house. I told another individual about how gleefully expectant I was of what was to come, once I got a chanc ...more
Dan Smith
Nov 18, 2008 Dan Smith rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who is not terribly squeamish
I read the article in Harper's Bazaar that resulted in this book- I have to say that I found the article more compelling and it seemed as is the author was stretching the story pretty thin- It's an expose on the little-known trade of human body parts in the USA that are used to market medical devices and techniques through training seminars. As the product of a medical family (and once very accustomed to opening the fridge to see if there was anything good to eat but being confronted by some dec ...more
It’s hard to imagine subject matter more cringe-worthy than the for-profit tissue and body business. Perhaps this explains the relative obscurity of Annie Cheney’s Body Brokers: Inside America’s Underground Trade in Human Remains, a muckraking exposé on this for-profit, shockingly lucrative industry. Upon the book’s release, publications around the country gave it generally favorable reviews, and predicted that it should blow the lid off of this subject. But it never happened. Body Brokers is a ...more
This book was incredible, but I'm too tired to write a decent review so will plan on doing that tomorrow. All I have to say now is it is fascinating, gruesome, disheartening, and a "must read".
This book is like a horrible car crash you can't turn away from despite the carnage. The subject matter was disturbing yet I read this cover to cover, only putting it down to sleep.
A dangerous read if you were planning on being cremated, autopsied, or donating your body to science.
Grant Trevarthen
Every family, at one time or another goes through the process of losing a loved one, along with the grieving process, you would hope that your loved one would be treated with respect and dignity....not so.
In the U.S at least, there is a thriving industry for body parts and whole corpses or cadavers.
In her book 'Body Brokers', Investigative journalist Annie Cheney, exposes the inhuman practices of stealing parts of bodies and selling them to brokers who in turn sell them for the purposes of sur
Amanda Sailors
In Body Brokers, Annie Cheney exposes the shadowy world of tissue procurement organizations and the various different people that work within the industry. I really enjoyed this book; it was interesting, well written, and Cheney provides a logical and well structured argument. A must read for anyone planning on donating their body to science.
It was a very fast and interesting read. I learned and few things and I now know I will not be donating my body to science since the schools just cut you up and sell you for $50,000 or more. It is horrible that the money form the sales of your body parts does not go to the family you left behind.
Cheney's account of brokers stealing morgue cadavers slated for cremation and cutting them up for sale like so many pieces of meat makes a lie of the whole facade of benevolent, scientific, medical altruism in America.

We, in short, have reached the inevitable conclusion of Capitalism envisioned by Debord; a world where everybody, in the end, has been turned into a commodity, to be bought, packaged, and sold. The opening scene of a seminar in the banquet room of a swanky resort hotel in Florida
A disturbing and engaging book. It made me very happy that I am going to have a green burial.
Kelly Lorenz
Very well written book.
This was absolutely shocking and has been haunting me ever since I picked it up for the first time.
People are so messed up.
This books gives an amazing inside perspective on donating your body to science. It gives some great information on the underground trade in human remains (even if you don't intend to donate your body). It tells you how hospitals, morgues, and mortuaries get involved in the black market of body parts.

Definately a great read if you have considered donating your body. As for me, I want to be cremated so I can avoid these weird things- plus, I don't really want to be embalmed.
This book was a good quick read---quite interesting, if a bit salacious.
This book will really give you the creeps. It is scary to think of what can be going on right under your nose. I know that it doesn't happen everywhere, and Cheney makes it quite clear that not all Funeral Homes, Universities, Hospitals and other institutions don't treat the deceased like this, but just knowing that some are willing to sell your loved ones is scary.
Anne Hayes
Gruesome. Fascinating.
An exposé on the not-so-legal market of bodies and body parts. It turns out there are people selling arms and legs, well, for an arm and a leg, all without the consent of the former owners. However, it'd be a pity if this book stopped people from donating their bodies and/or organs, as there are never enough to meet the demand.
This work of non-fiction is a quick read, but intensely gruesome and horrifying. It will make you look at human death and what happens to bodies afterwards in a whole new light. I found myself having to take breaks for a few deep breaths. It would make one heck of a horror film, and all the more horrible because it's true.
I really had no clue there were groups that trafficked in body parts and human remains, so this was quite the eye-opener. Today, when orga and tissues transplants are becoming commonplace, this book presents some information worth keeping in mind. Where did they find that new part REALLY?
Beginning with the clever little quote "you are a little soul carrying around a corpse, this was an intriguing, eye-opening, stomach-turning book for me. The Fed-Ex truck may be carrying body parts down the highway... Who knew? Definitely glad I plucked it from the library shelf.
sounds gross but a really interesting look into what could really happen to your body after you die... i've been trying to ask my doctor friends if they ever encountered this dark side of the cadaver trade but no one's confirmed any of this yet for me...
Very interesting. If you are intrigued by this sort of thing, you should definitely check the book out. It's actually on my list to read again at some point, just as a refresher.
Well done. Horrifying, but important. I just hope the public doesn't swing away from donations as a result, but instead clarify specific allowances for the use of their bodies.
Amanda Stevens
An expose of the funeral industry. I read it for research, but once I got into it, I couldn't put it down. Creepy, compelling and pretty disturbing, even for me.
I think it's time to give the dead/undead(?) a rest.... or at least to explore some fiction titles :o) My conversations are getting a little morbid....
kind of similiar to 'stiff' by mary roach, but does offer some new insightsights making it still palpable if 'stff' is read first
This book was so disturbing as it was non fiction. I didn't finish it because I was feeling sick from reading it
Tammy Due
Oct 02, 2009 Tammy Due rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those interested in organ donation.
I never knew that bodies that are donated to science can be used to test military advances. Interesting!
Robin Holloway
disturbing! non-fiction book about people and companies that "broker" corpses, often against people's wishes.
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