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The Fox and the Flies

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The nineteenth-century was the age of industry. It witnessed breathaking advances in manufacturing, trade and communications. Exploiting the new infrastructure of railways, steamships and telegraph systems, European pimps and 'white slave' traffickers were hugely successful in establishing an integrated global market for commercial sex. Criminal syndicates in cities such as Buenos Aires, Cape Town, New York and London were able to organise the seduction or rape of women in under-developed parts of Europe and their 'export' as prostitutes to meet the insatiable demand for sexual services throughout the Atlantic world. For three turbulent decades before the First World War Joseph Silver abrothel-owner, pimp and trafficker in women on four continents awas central to this hidden world of betrayal, intrigue, lust and sexual slavery. Burglar, gun-runner, jewel-thief, rapist, safe-cracker and sodomist, Silver's notoriety was captured in the most confidential correspondence of a dozen countries in the western world. What those in charge of law-enforcement agencies kept to themselves, however, was how their officers had attempted to use Silver as an informer to infiltrate syndicates bu
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About the Author

Charles van Onselen is an acclaimed biographer who has been honoured with visiting fellowships at Cambridge, Oxford and Yale. A graduate of Rhodes University, Grahamstown, and St. Antony's College, Oxford, his earlier works on the social history of southern Africa won him, amongst others, the American African Studies Association's Herskovits Prize, the Institute of Commonwealth Studies' Trevor Reese Memorial Prize and the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award for non-fiction. He has published extensively in leading historical journals in America, England and France. A Fellow of the Royal Society (S.A.) he has recently been a visiting fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford, and the recipient of an honorary doctorate in literature from Rhodes University. He is currently Research Professor in the Faculty of Humanities, at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

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