With Good Reason

Modern-Day Slavery
July 20th, 2013

 

Image courtesy U.S. Navy

Image courtesy U.S. Navy

Most of us learned in history class that slavery in the U.S. ended with the Thirteenth Amendment. But the trade in human beings—for sex and labor—is actually the fastest growing criminal industry in the world today, and it’s happening just below the surface of our everyday lives. Author Corban Addison confronts human trafficking in his novel A Walk Across the Sun. Also featured: Since World War II, the American “H2” program has brought hundreds of thousands of Jamaican men to the United States to do difficult and dangerous work for some of the nation’s largest agricultural corporations. Cindy Hahamovitch (College of William and Mary) tells the story of these workers in her book No Man’s Land: Jamaican Guestworkers and the Global History of Deportable Labor.

Later in the show: New research examines how the traumatic events of WWII were addressed in German history textbooks after the war. Brian Puaca (Christopher Newport University) says the textbooks first depicted Germans as victims, but the schoolbooks gradually incorporated a frank and honest account of National Socialism and Nazi atrocities. He challenges those who have argued that the Germans have long repressed their memories of the Second World War—both in terms of their own suffering and the crimes committed in their name. And: It is generally thought that German intellectuals did not start examining the Nazi period until the 1960s, some twenty years after World War II. But Mark Clark (University of Virginia’s College at Wise) identifies four German intellectuals—Thomas Mann, Karl Jaspers, Friedrich Meinecke, and Bertolt Brecht—whose work directly confronted the disastrous rule of the Third Reich immediately after the war.

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