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October 2014 Vol. 52 No. 2

Duke University Press

The following review appeared in the October 2014 issue of CHOICE. The review is for your internal use only. Please review our Permission and Reprints Guidelines or email

Social & Behavioral Sciences

2013-26436 CIP
Brennan, Denise. Life interrupted: trafficking into forced labor in the United States. Duke, 2014. 289p bibl index afp ISBN 9780822356240, $84.95; ISBN 9780822356332 pbk, $23.95.

Anthropologist Brennan (Georgetown) has penned a concise yet comprehensive account of trafficking in the US. In recent years, numerous studies have appeared on the subject of human trafficking, many of which highlight the sex industry. The author shows that across low-wage labor regions such as fields, factories, and construction sites, widespread exploitation can lead to and conceal forced labor. This scholarly book links firsthand accounts of this phenomenon to global economic injustices and underregulated workplaces that routinely exploit migrant laborers. Brennan contends that today's punitive immigration policies undermine efforts to fight trafficking. Bluntly confronting the risks and dangers all immigrants face when they must leave their homes in search of better lives, this admirable book is a major contribution to productive ways to rethink global immigration. Whether it is Mexican agricultural workers risking their lives by crossing a desert to find work, or Egyptians and Pakistanis crossing the Mediterranean in fragile boats, their lives dependent on rescue at sea by the Italian navy, suffering is omnipresent.

--W. T. Howard, Bloomsburg University

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.