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Freedomville: The Story of a 21st-Century Slave Revolt

Date: September 7th, 2021
ISBN: 173442074X
Language: English
Number of pages: 150 pages
Format: EPUB
A celebrated revolution brought freedom to a group of enslaved people in northern India. Or did it?

Millions of people today are still enslaved; nearly eight million of them live in India, more than anywhere else. This book is the story of a small group of enslaved villagers in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh who founded their own town of Azad Nagar—Freedomville—after staging a rebellion against their slaveholders. International organizations championed it as a non-violent "silent revolution" that inspired other villagers to fight for their own freedom.

But Laura T. Murphy, a leading scholar of contemporary global slavery who spent years researching and teaching about Freedomville, found that there was something troubling about Azad Nagar's success. Murphy embarks on a Rashomon-like retelling—a complex, constantly changing narrative of a murder that captures better than any sanitized account just why it is that slavery continues to exist in the twenty-first century. Freedomville's enormous struggle to gain and maintain liberty shows us how realistic it is to expect radical change without violent protest—and how a global construction boom is deepening and broadening the alienation of impoverished people around the world.

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