If you came upon a rundown, roach-infested bunkhouse in the heartland of America, full of middle-aged and elderly men in poor health who worked all day at a job for little pay and had been for decades, you might think you had time traveled back to the 19th century.

We talk to Dan Barry who writes about the true story of 32 mentally challenged men who were pressed into servitude in 1974 and remained there until 2009. In that 35 year period, the men’s yearly salary never increased a dime past $65 a month – their original hiring wage. One man held only $86 dollars in his bank account by 2009 after working tirelessly for three decades.

In that 35 year period, the men’s yearly salary never increased a dime past $65 a month – their original hiring wage. One man held only $86 dollars in his bank account by 2009 after working tirelessly for three decades.

The Boys in the Bunkhouse: Servitude and Salvation in the Heartland serves as a stark warning – we must protect those who are most vulnerable. The “boys” were eventually rescued when some determined social workers stepped up to their aid.

Guest:

  • Dan Barry, New York Times reporter and columnist, author of The Boys in the Bunkhouse: Servitude and Salvation in the Heartland

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Posted by:Producer

MTC is the producer of Viewpoints and Radio Health Journal - celebrating 25 years of award-winning public affairs radio reaching 6 million listeners each week.

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