Not For Sale by David Batstone is just one of those books. One of those books. It is the perfect coffee table book, sitting there alluringly in hopes that someone will ask you about it while you offer them some Not For Sale Rebbl to drink. Then you can freak them out with a long, monologue explanation of why we should all be abolitionists, working hard together to stop human trafficking (and wonder out-loud why they call it that anyway).


*Take a deep breath before you kill your guest with too much*

They probably won’t ask. But its worth a try, right?


Not For Sale book Cover

Not For Sale Book Review

Here is the info on the book:

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: HarperOne; Rev Upd edition (10.12.2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061998834
ISBN-13: 978-0061998836
Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches 

Get Your Not For Sale Copy Here


For some reason I have the feeling Not For Sale has been the Guru’s guide to Human Trafficking the last four years. An essential. A Bible. I thought I was at the head of the race, but I actually missed out on the first edition. By the time I got around to order it it was sold out on Amazon. (What?! Is that even possible?) I waited a couple months and got the new version instead. Which is just fine by me. Its not like I would have gotten around to reading it before now, anyway.


This is my confession: I do not read much non-fiction. I do. But very slowly. I always like to have at least one non-fiction going at a time. Instead I end up having five going at a time, ten more on my bookshelf, and in all likelihood they will be outdated by the time I get to them. Or something like that.


Thankfully, this non-fiction book is a compilation of stories. REAL stories. Of people who were sold into slavery and of the average advocates who found themselves (sometimes accidentally) fighting for the freedom of those trapped.


What Does Modern Slavery Look Like Today?


Journalist David Batstone explores what slavery looks like around the world by using stories from Thailand, India, Uganda, Europe, Peru, and our good old United States of America. Not for Sale covers sex slavery, prostitution, bonded laborers, child soldiers, and domestic servitude. The book is (thankfully) not textbook-style, yet it still subtly teaches facts and theories which help us understand the face of modern slavery and what the current dynamic of human trafficking is. To get a basic run down on what trafficking is, check out the post Human Trafficking 101.


Of course, Batstone shines as he unveils some of the personalities leading the modern-day abolition movement. How can you not shine when talking about real-life heroes? He uses that momentum to encourages us forward in action, being what he refers to as “smart advocates” to end slavery (like using sustainable development practices to prevent trafficking). In this newest edition of Not For Sale, Batstone also summarizes how the organization, Not For Sale Campaign, was birthed from the momentum of this book’s first release.


So, was the book worth reading? Yes! Like I said, it is full of stories which make it very readable. Oddly, it became my bath-time buddy book (which are normally only novels). It is a great starting point for both those who are interested in the anti-slavery movement and for those who are completely unaware and don’t care. This book gives viable cause to open your eyes in recognizing that slavery is happening around us, whether or not we acknowledge it. For many, this book has been life changing!


I was already semi-knowledgeable about human trafficking when I read it, so it wasn’t a lot of new information for me, but a really good overview that I have referred to time-and-time again. Seeing the issue through the lens Batstone created gave me a more-rounded perspective while deepening my resolve to remedy this issue.


Lastly, I should note that this book is covering a horrific subject, so rape and violence are talked about (although not described in detail). Personally, I think most teens could read this book (gauging by their maturity level) to use it as a good prompt to help them care and act on behalf of those suffering under modern slavery.


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