One Book One Sioux County has selected The Boys in the Bunkhouse: Servitude and Salvation in the Heartland by Dan Barry. The New York Times and PBS collaborated to produce the documentary The Men of Atalissa, telling the story of the town of Atalissa and the men involved.
Come to the library to view and discuss this 35 minute documentary.
In the tiny Iowa farm town of Atalissa, dozens of men, all with intellectual disability and all from Texas, lived in an old schoolhouse. Before dawn each morning, they were bussed to a nearby processing plant, where they eviscerated turkeys in return for food, lodging, and $65 a month. They lived in near servitude for more than thirty years, enduring increasing neglect, exploitation, and physical and emotional abuse—until state social workers, local journalists, and one tenacious labor lawyer helped these men achieve freedom.