E. Benjamin Skinner biography

Author Biography  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

E. Benjamin Skinner

E. Benjamin Skinner

E. Benjamin Skinner Biography

Born in 1976, Ben Skinner was raised in Wisconsin and northern Nigeria, where his father had served as a British colonial administrator. He first learned about slavery as a child in a Quaker meeting. The Quakers, who believed that the divine spark animates every man, were the first abolitionists. Skinner's Sunday school teachers spent as much time on Harriet Tubman and William Lloyd Garrison as they did on Moses and Jesus.

Skinner himself comes from abolitionist stock. His great-great-grandfather, Robert Pratt, served with the 1st Connecticut Artillery at the Siege of Petersburg, the ten-month campaign which bled white the Confederate Army and led to Lee's surrender at Appomattox. Pratt's uncle was a comb-maker too old to serve at the time, but not too old to make fiery antislavery speeches. When one of his distributors told him his abolitionist talk was hurting sales in the south, he exploded: "If they won't buy my Yankee combs, then let them go lousy!"

In 2003, as a writer on assignment in Sudan for Newsweek International, Skinner met his first survivor of slavery. He had first flown in under enemy radar with an Evangelical group purporting to buy slaves en masse to secure their freedom. Afterwards, on his own, he hitched a ride on a U.N. Cessna to the frontlines of the north-south Sudanese civil war. There he met Muong Nyong. Like Skinner, Nyong was 27 at the time, and pondering what to do with the rest of his life. Unlike Skinner, he had spent the first part of that life in bondage.

After meeting Nyong, Skinner traveled the globe to find others like him. Scholars estimate the total number of modern-day slaves is greater than at any point in history. But the number means nothing, unless slavery means something. Skinner adopted a narrow definition: slaves are forced to work, under threat of violence, for no pay beyond subsistence.

Though there are more slaves today than ever before, finding them would prove the most daunting challenge of Skinner's professional life. Slaves languish in shadows, kept hidden by violent traffickers and masters. Going undercover when necessary, Skinner infiltrated trafficking networks and slave quarries, urban child markets and illegal brothels. In the process, he became the first person in history to observe the sales of human beings on four continents. Skinner's book about the horrors of modern slavery is entitled A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery.

E. Benjamin Skinner's website

This bio was last updated on 08/03/2016. We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's a tough task. So, please help us - if the information about a particular author is out of date or inaccurate, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors: If you wish to make changes to your bio, send your complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by E. Benjamin Skinner at BookBrowse
A Crime So Monstrous jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for E. Benjamin Skinner but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

We recommend 8 similar authors

View all 8 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Noise of Time
    by Julian Barnes
    Confession: I do two terrible – some say unforgivable – things while reading a book. First...
  • Book Jacket
    Smoke
    by Dan Vyleta
    In Dan Vyleta's universe, set in an alternate Victorian England, people engaging in sinful thought ...
  • Book Jacket: Golden Hill
    Golden Hill
    by Francis Spufford
    Spufford brings American history to raucous life through the story of Mr. Richard Smith, a ...

Win this book!
Win The Library of Light and Shadow

The Library of Light and Shadow by M.J. Rose

"Possibly her best yet. A sensuous, sumptuous, and spellbinding novel." - Kirkus Reviews

Enter

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Necklace
    by Claire McMillan

    For readers of The Nest, the intelligent, intoxicating story of long-simmering family secrets.
    Reader Reviews

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T H Are B T O

and be entered to win..

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

A funny and acutely perceptive debut about four siblings and the fate of their shared inheritance.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.