Heidi's Reviews > Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy

Nobodies by John Bowe
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Feb 18, 2009

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bookshelves: non-fiction, read2008, abandoned
Read in February, 2009

Just the fact that this book exists means it needs some attention. I didn't finish just because I don't have the time for this...I don't need the details to be outraged by the fact of coerced and forced labor.

How convenient that the general public is so outraged over 'illegal aliens.' This allows for this kind of stuff to happen, hidden in plain sight.

The other day I heard an anecdote of racists in Florida, and I have to wonder if it is just coincidence that today I read in this book of several cases of slave labor in Florida. So much of my world is invisible to me...where my clothes are made, my material goods. Whether WalMart or Target, if things are cheap, I have to wonder, who made these for less than livable wages? Did they receive wages at all?

In the introduction, the author says, "In the United States, most modern slavery involves the coercion of recent or trafficked immigrants. Such cases are incredibly hard to detect, because much of hte time the perpetrators don't rely on chains, guns, or even the use of force. All they require is some form of coercion: threats of beating, deportation, death, or, perhaps most effective, harm to the victim's family back home should he or she eve speak up. These cases occur in out-of-the-way places that are, to quote one activist I met, beyond most Americans' "cognitive map."
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