About the Book

“Unbroken Chains: The Hidden Role of Human Trafficking in the American Economy” exposes the pervasive trafficking that lies just beneath the surface of our economy—told through the stories of its survivors. Drawing from nearly two decades of research on US and international human trafficking, Melissa Hope Ditmore sets forth these harrowing stories, unveiling the reality that forced labor permeates many industries beyond sex work: in almost every aspect of consumption, people who create our everyday necessities are working amid inescapable exploitation, often without pay. “Unbroken Chains” offers a window into the world of forced labor which exists within our own, and a road map for participating in its destruction.


“This searing exposé reveals the dark underbelly of the U.S. economy ... Knowledgeable, empathetic, and impassioned, Ditmore is an expert tour guide through this harrowing landscape. Readers will be moved to take action.”
Publisher’s Weekly
... essential reading for anyone interested in racial capitalism, fair labor, and victim self-advocacy ... Ditmore’s clear-eyed analysis cuts through the sensationalistic media images ... to expose the truth about human trafficking.”
Grace Cho, author of the National Book Award finalist Tastes Like War
... “Unbroken Chains” is incredible. [Ditmore’s] research spans centuries and multiple forms of labor exploitation, laying bare the ... rot that has been at the center of the United States’ growth and development since before it became a country ...”
Matilda Bickers, Matilda Bickers, editor Working It: Sex Workers on the Work of Sex
... another comprehensive book filled with case study evidence and scholarly depth about human trafficking in the United States ... Libraries need this.
Library Journal

Buy the Book

“Unbroken Chains” was published in the United States by Beacon Press on May 9, 2023. You can order the book from the following vendors: