Blood and Earth: Modern Slavery, Ecocide, and the Secret to Saving the World
by Kevin Bales
Spiegel & Grau, 2016 ($27)

The terrible evil of slavery still haunts the world. A seven-year exploration of modern slavery—from forced labor to pay off debts to outright bondage—finds it inextricably interwoven with some of the worst environmental destruction on the planet. Activist and writer Bales's powerful book shows how slavery is involved in harvesting shrimp and gathering the wood in the tables it is served on and even in the mining that enables manufacture of the world's favorite gadget: the cell phone. This ubiquity, Bales shows, means that all of us have a role to play in ending slavery and that doing so will also help remedy some of the biggest environmental challenges on earth, such as climate change. “There's always been a moral case for stopping slavery,” he writes. “Now there's an environmental reason too.”