“The Red Market” by Scott Carney

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Publish date: 2011       Number of pages: 254


Red Markets : (noun) any economic system or economy that trades primarily in human flesh or human beings.

Buying and selling human bodies is fundamentally different than any other sort of commerce. Unlike black, white or gray markets, red markets exist in a different category because the product being traded cannot be valued in monetary terms alone. The value of human tissue is the value of life itself, and its costs are paid in blood.


There are the usual things you would expect this book to discuss (i.e.-kidney thieves, black market babies, etc.), but as I got into it I was more shocked than I thought possible at the depravity of mankind as well as the lengths people will go to make money. One particular story was about blood farms. I did not know such a thing existed. My disbelief was such that I had to put the book away for the evening.  I have worked in the medical field my entire life & most of that time was spent in labs with body fluids & parts. You always hear about these things, but it is nothing we see here in America. I respect the author for doing such a great job of investigative journalism & mainstreaming these issues.


I rarely read non-fiction, but this novel was far too intriguing to pass up. I had previously read “Stiff” by Mary Roach & it was very fascinating. Upon stumbling across this book I knew it was similar and had to read it. I am very glad I did! I highly recommend it & it is a short read, so