Hello, and welcome to my website. Those of you who read my last book, Hanging Captain Gordon: The Life and Trial of an American Slave Trader, are aware that I devoted the final chapter to a detailed expose of slavery as a twenty-first century survival; it is alive and more than well in the world, with the United States once again a prime destination for traffickers. I recall my shock at the time I was writing the chapter, to discover the extent to which slavery existed in my country, practically under my very nose. In the few years since, I’ve become increasingly knowledgeable on the subject, but no less shocked – at the average citizen’s lack of awareness, and at our own government’s woefully inadequate response to a blight that enslaves tens of thousands in our country each year.

Here’s a statistic for you; there are an estimated 27 million people enslaved in the world today. That’s more than twice as many as were taken from Africa in chains during the entire 350 years of the Atlantic Slave Trade. It is one of the three most lucrative criminal enterprises, along with drugs and guns. And in the United States, it has reached epidemic proportions. Victims are trafficked here from at least thirty-five countries, and are held in bondage – and under the radar – in every state, working at a variety of jobs. They are of all races, all types, all ethnicities, sharing in common only the inability to leave. They are controlled by violence, and are exploited to make money for their controllers. These people are, in the most literal sense, slaves. Slavery is all around us, yet most of us are unaware.

When I realized that no book had been written that specifically addressed human trafficking and slavery in the United States, I met with my good friend Kevin Bales, president of Free the Slaves, and we put together an outline for what we envisioned as the definitive resource on the subject; The Slave Next Door is the result, and we feel we’ve accomplished our goal. During the course of writing this book, I had occasion to speak with hundreds of survivors of slavery, traffickers, members of local, state and federal government agencies, and victim advocates at many non-governmental organizations.

In addition to presenting overviews of the problem and recommendations for its eradication, The Slave Next Door tells many true stories, supported by interviews, newspaper accounts, and court documents, of actual slavery cases; they will fascinate and shock you, as they did us. And hopefully, they will move you to join in the movement to put an end, once and for all, to this nation-long affliction.

Please take a few minutes and listen to the podcast of an interview with Kevin and me; it’s on this site, and it should answer some of your questions and arouse your interest in the subject. We’ll be making appearances at various venues, so please check the Speaking Engagements/Appearances page for an event in your area. We’d be delighted to meet and talk with you, and sign your copy of The Slave Next Door.

Now on Sale

Kevin Bales and Ron Soodalter
University of California Press interview.

You can buy Ron Soodalter's book, The Slave Next Door, at these online retailers:

Now in Paperback