Schiavi contemporanei: Un viaggio nella barbarie
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Schiavi contemporanei: Un viaggio nella barbarie

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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  601 ratings  ·  97 reviews
Mai nella storia dell'umanità gli schiavi sono stati così numerosi. E questa indagine straordinaria ne racconta le storie, i protagonisti, i traffici, le piccole e grandi tragedie. Portandoci a Mumbai e in Romania, in Sudan e ad Haiti. Ovunque vi sia commercio di carne umana. Ovunque si calpesti la dignità dell'uomo con il crimine piú antico e odioso.

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Paperback, Passaggi, 398 pages
Published 2009 by Einaudi (first published March 6th 2008)
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Tara
Offensive.

I'm unhappy I feel a need to write a scathing review about a book dealing with an issue I care passionately about. But Skinner's book was tremendously offensive, and worse: misleading.

Skinner deliberately shies away from discussing the more insidious forms of slavery, because they do not prove his thesis: neo-conservative evangelicals are working hard behind the scene to eradicate slavery (and we need more neo-conservative policies to end it!) It's shocking that a man could go to Hait...more
Tamora Pierce
Slavery is forced work, under threat of or actual violence, for no pay.

I already knew that slavery exists in our time. I knew it exists as multi-generational debt bondage in India, when one member of a family got a loan, and his grandchildren labor to pay off the much larger amount (there's interest) with no sign of ever getting free. I knew of sexual trafficking in women from eastern Europe and women and children in Thailand, the Philippines, and Mexico. I did not know that the people of southe...more
Chris
I heard Skinner speak about an article he wrote on my local NPR's station wonderful, brillant program "Radio Times". Best show in the world. Really.

Skinner's book is an overview of slavery in the modern world, and keep in mind that this isn't chain and sell them type of slavery. Skinner gives his defination earlier in the novel and quite simply illustrates it over the course of his novel. The stories are horrifying and the book is not a feel good.

Because Skinner was writing and researching this...more
dr. manni
please read Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy for a brilliant analysis of modern slavery.

not only is kevin bales a better writer, but the content is better.

also, skinner uses the book as a platform to tout his politics. i happen to disagree that slavery will instantly disappear when the government lifts its controls of big business.
Kyle
Every once in a while we're fortunate enough to read a book that truly resonates with whatever we're going through in life. I'm not sure if it's the timing of when I read this book (I'm applying for NGOs and non-profits), but I found the book absolutely amazing. By far, my favorite non-fiction book, and a top 5 book overall for me.

I usually find non-fiction books too dry to digest, but Benjamin Skinner weaves together beautiful story-telling and human trafficking history and facts. Benjamin Skin...more
Brian
The author goes undercover to reveal how shockingly easy it is to purchase a fellow human being in many parts of the world. In doing so he reveals some surprising and not-so-surprising facts.

Surprising: There are, literally, millions of slaves in the world today.

Surprising: George Bush has done more than any other American president to combat modern slavery.

Not-So-Surprising: The Bush administration's efforts to fight slavery are completely watered down and the UN is hesitant to even use the te...more
Jason
Sep 15, 2008 Jason rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All of Humanity
As free citizens in a political democracy, we have a responsibility to be interested and involved in the affairs of the human community, be it at the local or the global level.
Paul Wellstone

Slavery continues today. Skinner concisely defines a slave as a person, forced to work, through threat of force, for no pay beyond subsistence. The scope of modern-day slavery is vast: there are more slaves today than at any other time in human history.

Because of this scope, Skinner spends most of the book f...more
Valerie
I'm rounding this up to 4 stars from 3.5. While it's important to his ultimate point, I felt like the author spent too much time on the character study of American politicians. At the end of the book, his points on the failure of American politics to adequately address this issue were quite poignant, but I felt they would've carried as much weight without all of the personal back story of the characters involved. Skinner tells the slaves' stories carefully and skillfully, and I appreciated the i...more
Karina
Appeals to emotion, which is fine for a book about slavery, but offers little hard data or analysis. Especially annoying is the author's endless description of his own experiences. I did not finish the book. I just don't trust a guy who uses slavery as an excuse to write pages and pages about how brave he was bribing border guards and talking to pimps while posing as a trafficker.
Katie
This book was, not surprisingly, a difficult read due to the subject matter. I am relatively new to the subject of modern human trafficking, but in my research on various anti-trafficking websites (i.e. stop the traffik)and in watching TED talks and other news specials I have become very interested and concerned with this global issue. This book added to my knowledge and made the experiences more personal with it's narrative descriptions and story-telling. I found Skinner's travels and experienc...more
Laura
There are 27 million slaves living in the world today --- more than at any other time in history. In the U.S., 13,000-17,000 slaves are trafficked annually into our country. If you read only one serious book this year, make it this one.
Brandon Veliz
Overall, this book does succeed in bringing modern day slavery to one's attention. However, it is very confusing at first. From the start, it seems jumpy. The change in places is confusing. In chapter you're in one country, and the next, you in another with a semi confusing transition. Later on in the story,the transitions flow better, and Skinner connects older chapters to current ones. I advise if you want to read this book, be prepared to do some rereading. Whoever ventures to read this book,...more
Julie
Non-fiction on modern slavery and the efforts of the US to fight it in 2000-2008. Four areas are profiled with the US parts between. All in all, interesting and sad, and readable. If you want to know more read below.

Haiti (prior to the earthquake, which makes an already bad situation worse) is profiled with the restaveks, or slave children "stay-withs". Poor families give up their children to wealthier families thinking they will get an education and a better life. These children clean the house...more
Donna
A very well researched exploration of modern day slavery, its causes, its consequences, and what is being done, or in some cases not done, to combat it. While our politicians and even church leaders are arguing the details of what does and does not constitute slavery 27 million people world wide are still held in bondage. The author travels from Haiti, to Romania, Moldavia, Amsterdam, India, and yes even America, to tell their stories. Though the scholarly research provides credibility it is tho...more
Catherine Austen
My rating is more of a 5 star plus a 2 star. I loved the writing - and I know how shallow that is, and I always feel rightfully like an idiot when I close a book on some important lives-at-stake issue and think, "Jeez, that was well-written," leaving the author who wants to change the world with that little checkmark - but jeez, this was really well-written. So five stars on the writing and the research and a lot of what he says - it's a really good book on the one hand.

But 2 stars on the free...more
Nicole
(From my wordpress blog.)

What is slavery? E. Benjamin Skinner explores this question in his book, A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery. Skinner's offering is a well-written, bold account of his 4-year journey through the underground world of human trafficking and exploitation. He is unflinching in his accounts, and despite what he has seen, brings a voice of compassion and hope to a topic that many people are either unaware of or are only beginning to realize.

Skinner takes...more
Michael Griswold
A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery is a series of stories spaning Hati, Eastern Europe, India, among other places and eventually ending in Miami with the arrest of someone envolved in the seedy slave trade. This book has two purposes in my eyes : First, it sheds a harsh blinding light on the issue of modern sex slavery and domestic and indentured slavery throughout the world. Secondly through actions and frusterations by John Miller and others connected with the Bush admi...more
Maggie
Benjamin Skinner did a very good job of tackling a tremendously complicated and difficult subject in this book. As he points out, there are more slaves in the world today than ever before, but they represent a smaller percentage of the world’s population than previously. “Slavery is a slippery and confounding evil, and persists despite twelve international conventions banning the slave trade, and over three hundred international treaties banning slavery.” It’s been estimated that there are 27 m...more
Josephine
Skinner writes:
“I assume you come from a place where there is an idea that humans have rights,” he added, regaining his composure and kicking at an ashy firepit. “Why does no one care about our slavery here?” (p.103)

I think the simple answer to that is this: a lot of us aren’t aware that slavery still exists.

I didn’t know up until a few months ago, when I started reading every book I could get my hands on about the subject.

Skinner spent four years traveling around the world so he could report fi...more
Lit-Creek
Ever wondered how to buy a slave? Is it even possible these days? Sure is.

Skinner takes you on a short trip to Haiti to buy a child, aged between 8 and 12 for the price of the taxi ride you would have taken to the airport. The employment agent will sort out papers, passport for an additional small fee. You could have your own living child to do whatever you will with. In Haiti they call them restavek, a child labourer.

Skinner has taken investigative journalism and balanced it on a razor thin e...more
Kathleen Caron
Benjamin Skinner’s book “A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery,” published in 2009, was not a best seller, although it should have been. If there were any justice in this world, “A Crime So Monstrous” would still be at the top of the best seller lists and “50 Shades of Gray” would be in the remainder bin. I read it recently and it changed the way I look at everything. Did you know that in our enlightened age there are more slaves in the world than at any previous time in his...more
Vanessa
It is remarkable that author Benjamin Skinner was able to "bear witness" to the horrors in this book and not go mad/break down in a weeping puddle/take up whatever blunt object he had to hand and bludgeon the crap out of the slavers, traffickers and abusers in this travelogue of Hell on Earth. This is a very difficult book to read, but an important one. I cannot "recommend" it because it is too painful. All I can say is that if you want to find out more about modern day slavery and are ready to...more
Frenje
I'm not sure I'd recommend people to read this book, but I'd definitely recommend people to go read about modern slavery. Skinner does a good job introducing his reader to the different forms of slavery that still exist today, beyond the sex trafficking that most people are now aware of, and get you thinking about how slavery should be defined. Some of these anecdotal accounts were so alien to me, I couldn't help but feel that he must surely have been talking about another age, which I think is...more
Tim
Although this book reveals a rare positive side of the George W. Bush administration (of which I was unaware and reluctant to accept), it is still a well researched qualitative study of contemporary slavery (defined as "a human being who is forced to work through fraud or threat of violence for no pay beyond subsistence"). We are living in a time when there are more slaves than at any other time in world history (in part due to population increases, as the percentage is not the highest). In Bost...more
Claudia
I'm learning that sex trafficking is something that happens everywhere and this includes the U.S. But I'm still shocked at people from all walks of life that can be involved in this. It makes me think of Sartjee Bartmann, a woman in South Africa who was told by a British soldier that she could have a better opportunity in life by leaving with him to go to to England. He promised her a better lifestyle,but he tricked her and later put her in the circus. He was so captivated by her sexuality that...more
Levka
This book was very hard to read. And yet, it was riveting, I couldn't put it down. Mercilessly, Skinner takes you inside the realities of human trafficking around the world, from Haiti, to Romania, to the Sudan, while looking at the political history of the modern anti-trafficking movement in America. More political and more personal than some more research-oriented books on the topic, like Kevin Bales', this book has an immediate, journalistic feeling that leaves you with the experience of bein...more
Tim
Slavery exists! It is not something that died out in the 19th century. There are more slaves today than there ever have been, though they make up a smaller proportion than ever before.
Skinner poses as a person interested in purchasing a slave/slaves in order to discover and report on modern slavery. He meets with hundreds of slaves and with many slave traffickers.
I learned that this is something worth learning more about. As the only superpower, the U.S. is in a position to affect slavery t...more
RussBear
Sep 10, 2008 RussBear rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in slavery, human trafficking, or human rights
Recommended to RussBear by: Saw the author on C-Span's BookTV
Almost all of us assume that slavery ended more than 140 years with the Civil War, but in E Benjamin Skinner's "A Crime So Monstrous" we learn that slavery is still alive and well around the world and that there are an estimated 18,000 slaves currently in the U.S. In fact, it is estimated that there are more slaves today than in any other time in human history.

Skinner takes his readers on a journey around the world and gives us the heartbreaking life stories of about a half a dozen slaves. Each...more
Karen
Oct 19, 2008 Karen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Karen by: article by John Piper
You must read this book. The stories are horrific, the real-life characters are haunting, and the reality of it all is overwhelming and disgusting. No, it's not a "fun" read, but it's a necessary read.

Skinner will open your eyes to the reality that slavery not only still exists today...but in much larger numbers than you can imagine. In recent years, the only type that has made news is sex trafficking, but that covers only a small minority of modern-day slaves.

Although Skinner lost me in a coup...more
Barbaraleah
This is information ALL of us should know. Skinner's work is obviously his calling in life because he delves - and delivers himself voluntarily - into the ugliest parts of humanity. He puts himself in danger to inform us of the slave trade that exists, even thrives, in our world today. Anyone in law enforcement, education, or any sector that deals with assisting others, MUST be aware of the information in this book.
Be aware, be educated, be willing to work for a better world.
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