A look into how U.S. military contractors in Iraq have participated in human trafficking, told from the perspective of Kamala Magar, a widow of one of twelve Nepalese workers killed in 2004 by terrorists on their way to work for a subsidiary of Halliburton.
Simpson’s obsessive reporting is the book’s great strength. There is no journalist working in South Asia or the Middle East who is not surrounded by shades of human trafficking—from apparently benign examples, like the nannies and drivers who serve their own homes, to more obviously coercive arrangements, including the children sent to work as housemaids in South Delhi bungalows. The globalization of labor is the overarching story of Asia, hauling millions of families out of desperate poverty and trapping millions of workers in something close to slavery. It’s so ubiquitous that it’s easy to stop seeing it. Simpson insists that you see it. He has given us an anatomy of globalized labor at its most shameful, complete with the internal correspondence of American military and Kellogg Brown & Root officials reporting coerced labor and human trafficking to their superiors ... It is unfortunate, given this achievement, that Simpson felt it necessary to remove himself from the heart of the story. He builds the book’s plot around Kamala Magar, the 19-year-old wife of one of the murdered workers ... But Simpson attributes thoughts to Kamala too freely, stumbling into clichés ... by scraping away at layers of corporate misdirection, by asking and asking again and not letting go, Simpson reached something naked and ugly and unimpeachably true.
Investigative journalist Simpson (Bloomberg Businessweek) investigates the seamy world of human trafficking for answers as to how 12 men from Nepal, destined for work at a luxury hotel in Amman, Jordan, ended up as subcontractors on an American military base in Iraq where they were kidnapped and murdered by Islamic extremists ... A hard look at the global web of trafficking and human rights violations and the dark treatment of widows in Nepal, paired with the uplifting journey of one who defied her destiny
As he uncovered the labyrinthine and corrupt supply chain of human labor, he met Jeet's young widow, Kamala, whose life in an impoverished Nepali village became infinitely harder after Jeet’s death. Along with a team of intrepid human rights’ attorneys, Simpson battled one of the world’s most powerful corporations to gain justice for Jeet and compensation for his widow. The ensuing court battle and Kamala’s personal journey of redemption is a mind-boggling story that champions courage, perseverance, and resilience.