The Red Market: On the Trail of the World's Organ Brokers, Bone Thieves, Blood Farmers, and Child Traffickers

( 19 )

Overview

An in-depth report that takes readers on a shocking tour through a macabre global underworld where organs, bones, and live people are bought and sold on the red market

Investigative journalist Scott Carney has spent five years on the ground tracing the lucrative and deeply secretive trade in human bodies and body parts?a vast hidden economy known as the "red market." From the horrifying to the ridiculous, he discovers its varied forms: an Indian village nicknamed "Kidneyvakkam" ...

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The Red Market: On the Trail of the World's Organ Brokers, Bone Thieves, Blood Farmers, and Child Traffickers

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Overview

An in-depth report that takes readers on a shocking tour through a macabre global underworld where organs, bones, and live people are bought and sold on the red market

Investigative journalist Scott Carney has spent five years on the ground tracing the lucrative and deeply secretive trade in human bodies and body parts—a vast hidden economy known as the "red market." From the horrifying to the ridiculous, he discovers its varied forms: an Indian village nicknamed "Kidneyvakkam" because most of its residents have sold their kidneys for cash; unscrupulous grave robbers who steal human bones from cemeteries, morgues, and funeral pyres for anatomical skeletons used in Western medical schools and labs; an ancient temple that makes money selling the hair of its devotees to wig makers in America—to the tune of $6 million annually.

The Red Market reveals the rise, fall, and resurgence of this multibillion-dollar under­ground trade through history, from early medical study and modern universities to poverty-ravaged Eurasian villages and high-tech Western labs; from body snatchers and surrogate mothers to skeleton dealers and the poor who sell body parts to survive. While local and international law enforcement have cracked down on the market, advances in science have increased the demand for human tissue—ligaments, kidneys, even rented space in women's wombs—leaving little room to consider the ethical dilemmas inherent in the flesh-and-blood trade. At turns tragic, voyeuristic, and thought-provoking, The Red Market is an eye-opening, surreal look at a little-known global industry and its implications for all our lives.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

In a ghoulish twist on the free market, humans alive and dead are being trafficked today in a thriving, multibillion-dollar business. Scott Carney's The Red Market lays bares the clandestine practices of kidnappers, thieves, and vendors of organs, blood, hair, and whatever else is marketable in human remains. Not even funeral pyres are exempt from their mercantile scrutiny: Funeral pyres are being looted for anatomical skeletons used in medical schools and labs. Carney's investigative skills imbue this narrative with fascinating, if slightly bracing detail.

Publishers Weekly
Journalist Carney investigates the burgeoning underground economy in human organs, the world's "red market," in which bones, kidneys, ligaments, wombs, and human hair are harvested from the world's poorest people and sent to shore up faltering American and European bodies. "In Egypt, India, Pakistan, and the Philippines, entire villages sell organs, rent wombs," he writes. And the illusion that people selling their tissue "benefit from the transaction" is a devastating fantasy. "People who sell bodies and body parts rarely see their lives improved," he writes, and his accounts of the "body bazaar" are chilling: an Indian farmer who imprisoned men for years at a time in order to drain their blood for profit; Chinese prisons that treat their populations as de facto organ farms; Western families adopting children they believe are orphans who are, in reality, kidnapped. An important examination of the politics of "the red market" and the inequities that make it possible, the book makes a persuasive case that we must acknowledge and take responsibility for the red market, and medical innovation must be accompanied by ethical checks and "radical transparency"—lest our medical achievements precipitate horrific human cost. (June)
Chris Anderson
The Red Market is a thrilling adventure into the global body business, with keen insight into the economics that drive it. Scott Carney investigates both our insatiable need for replacement human parts and the uncanny and often disturbing ways we go about getting them.”
Michael Largo
The Red Market is an unforgettable nonfiction thriller, expertly reported. Scott Carney takes us on a tremendously revealing and twisted ride, where life and death are now mere cold cash commodities.”
Kirkus Reviews

Having written magazine articles on subjects like the buccaneer business model of Somali pirates and the dark side of overseas adoptions, Wired contributing editor Carney expands on time spent in India, Europe and America examining the illegal "red" marketplace for trafficked human body parts.

The author writes that "our appetite for human flesh is higher now than at any other time in history." Though the trade may appear barbaric, it is commonplace in places like Egypt and the Philippines, and most transactions are handled—to an outsider, at least—altruistically. As a post-graduate anthropology student, the author taught for many years in southern India, and his unsympathetic initiation into the "body business" came at the expense of a young American student and suicide victim upon whose increasingly perishable corpse descended a variety of locals who insinuated "demands on what was left of her material self." Elsewhere in India, Carney reports dramatic stories of a riverbank "bone factory" where 100 confiscated, grave-robbed human skulls might net $70,000 overseas, the atrocious for-profit kidnapping of children from city streets and orphanages and the contract-bound surrogate baby factories in Akanksha. A chapter on the latest advancements in the lucrative international brokers' market for living-donor kidneys is as startling as one on genetic egg harvesting—in exchange for sperm, Swiss fertility specialists can "basically FedEx you a baby." Less dour is the author's affably detailed stint "guinea-pigging" for a clinical trial of a "rebranded Viagra" and selling his hair for auction. As Carney highlights the most egregious of criminal red markets hoping to expose and recriminalize them, he impartially balances that perspective with arguments for industry legalization and demystifies its seductive "free market solution." Much akin to the work of Mary Roach, the result is a volume that lays bare the atrocities of the human flesh trade, reiterating the verity that "every corpse has a stakeholder."

Gruesomely fascinating.

Michiko Kakutani
…Mr. Carney writes with considerable narrative verve, slamming home the misery of what he has witnessed with passion and visceral detail…throughout this grisly but fascinating volume…
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061936463
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/31/2011
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 286,197
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott Carney is an investigative journalist with a decade of experience living and researching in India. He is a contributing editor at Wired magazine. His reporting has also appeared on NPR, CBC, BBC, and National Geographic TV, and in Mother Jones, Fast Company, Discover, and Foreign Policy. He lives in Long Beach, California.

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Table of Contents

Preface Dead End xi

Introduction Man Vs. Meat 1

1 Body Alchemy 21

2 The Bone Factory 39

3 Kidney Prosecting 61

4 Meet The Parents 91

5 Immaculate Conception 111

6 Cash On Delivery 135

7 Blood Money 153

8 Clinical Labor Of Guinea Pigs 175

9 Immortal Promises 197

10 Black Gold 221

Afterword Ode To Loretta Hardesty 231

Acknowledgments 239

Bibliography 243

Index 247

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    In the dark world there is the red market, where humans are buyi

    In the dark world there is the red market, where humans are buying and selling organs, bones and humans. It was a great read to get to know what really happens on the trade markets. To be able to understand and get an idea of the red market really helped in this book. The major message in this novel was to show the readers how the red market is still a large issue in the world. It is very much a book that everyone must read. It gives us a better understanding of how this market works. For me I did not know anything about the red market. I did not know that people were selling organs and bodies for money in countries all across the world. It was really interesting to read this book as I learned so many new things about this market. I read this book to help me with an ethnography assignment in my english class. This book was a great resource for those interested in learning about investigations and what happens behind the medical fields.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2012

    I read this book for a school report, I had accepted that I was

    I read this book for a school report, I had accepted that I was going to be bored and assumed that I would hate it. I loved this book, it is shocking, profoundly interesting, written as a story with photos and statistics interspersed.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    Great!

    A very quick informative read, i highly recommend it

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2012

    Shocking!

    A really good read, kept me interested and I was so shocked to hear so much about the red market and how it is still a big issue. Very well written, worth the read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2013

    In all honesty i got the book because i thought that the cover w

    In all honesty i got the book because i thought that the cover was interesting and that it might be a good book. I could not put it down! this is one of my Favorite books, and was very informative and really opens your eyes. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2013

    Ares

    Nods slowly

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2013

    Dark

    She leaps onto a tree and leaps from tree to tree and leaps down slashing out a hind paw backwords as if a apponet is behind her. "I have to get this right." She says to herself and climbs back onto a tree and leaps three times before leaping down slashing out a hindpaw behind her backfliping her paws downword as she imagines a warrior under her. Ducking and bighting the air and eventually lies down tiredly her paws over her head.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2011

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted November 5, 2011

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