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Survivors of Slavery

Modern-Day Slave Narratives

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Slavery is not a crime confined to the far reaches of history. It is an injustice that continues to entrap twenty-seven million people across the globe. Laura Murphy offers close to forty survivor narratives from Cambodia, Ghana, Lebanon, Macedonia, Mexico, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, and the United States, detailing the horrors of a system that forces people to work without pay and against their will, under the threat of violence, with little or no means of escape. Representing a variety of circumstances in diverse contexts, these survivors are the Frederick Douglasses, Sojourner Truths, and Olaudah Equianos of our time, testifying to the widespread existence of a human rights tragedy and the urgent need to address it.

Through storytelling and firsthand testimony, this anthology shapes a twenty-first-century narrative that many believe died with the end of slavery in the Americas. Organized around such issues as the need for work, the punishment of defiance, and the move toward activism, the collection isolates the causes, mechanisms, and responses to slavery that allow the phenomenon to endure. Enhancing scholarship in women's studies, sociology, criminology, law, social work, and literary studies, the text establishes a common trajectory of vulnerability, enslavement, captivity, escape, and recovery, creating an invaluable resource for activists, scholars, legislators, and service providers.

From Publishers Weekly

Jan 13, 2014 – Murphy, assistant professor of English at Loyola Univ. New Orleans, has compiled an anthology of narratives told or written by survivors of modern-day slavery. The experiences of women forced into sex work, children exploited as laborers, female domestics held prisoner, and others who endured forced factory work are described with unflinching honesty. By highlighting the various types of slavery and its persistence worldwide the venues are as varied as the forms it takes, from Southeast Asia and the U.S. to Europe and Africa Murphy makes clear that slavery is not simply some other country's problem. Each story is succinct and is preceded with summaries that give the victim's country of origin, the place to which they were trafficked, the form of slavery, and their current status. Cumulatively these summaries and interviews give testimony to the horrific affect slavery has on its victims, but also the life affirming potential of freedom. In addition to the first-person narratives, Murphy describes the mechanisms of enslavement, how people become victims, the work of slavery, and how those affected have fought back. It is not an easy read, but Murphy never sensationalizes, and by making the stories seem almost ordinary, paradoxically succeeds in underscoring the breadth and perniciousness of slavery's evils.
Survivors of Slavery
View in iTunes
  • $32.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Social Science
  • Published: Mar 25, 2014
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Seller: Perseus Books, LLC
  • Print Length: 344 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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