Nonfiction Book Review: Blood and Earth: Modern Slavery, Ecocide, and the Secret to Saving the World by Kevin Bales.

Kevin Bales, Author

Some of the developed world’s conveniences and pleasures will seem less enjoyable after reading this exposé of the global economy’s “deadly dance” between slavery and environmental disaster. Bales (Disposable People), cofounder of Free the Slaves, follows the supply chain from miners and fishers (often made into slaves by warfare, or into peons by corruption) straight to the cell phones in our pockets, shrimp on our table, and wedding bands on our fingers. Based on extensive travels through eastern Congo’s mineral mines, Bangladeshi fisheries, Ghanian gold mines, and Brazilian forests, Bales reveals the appalling truth in graphic detail. This disquieting book is impersonal and objective in its historical and statistical detail—Bales simply says, “It works like this”—which adds immediacy to its general call for reform, with personal accounts from those who produce raw materials and turn them into finished goods. Readers will be deeply disturbed to learn how the links connecting slavery, environmental issues, and modern convenience are forged. (Jan.)

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