Tom Zoellner biography, plus links to book reviews and book excerpts from books by Tom Zoellner.

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Tom Zoellner
© Paul Charest

Tom Zoellner

Tom Zoellner Biography

Tom Zoellner is the author of Uranium: War, Energy and the Rock that Reshaped the World and The Heartless Stone: A Journey Through the World of Diamonds, Deceit and Desire, an investigation into the diamond business reported from six continents, named a Notable Book of 2006 by the American Library Association. He is also the co-author of the New York Times bestselling book An Ordinary Man. Tom has previously worked as a contributing editor for Men's Health magazine and as a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. He grew up in Arizona and is currently living in Hanover, New Hampshire.

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This biography was last updated on 01/20/2011.

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Interview

A Conversation with Tom Zoellner, author of The Heartless Stone

Q: Why are diamonds such a big deal in America?
A: It’s now a $25 billion dollar business. Seven out of every ten American women own at least one. But as it turns out, the idea of a diamond as a popular luxury item is fairly new in this country. A magazine advertising campaign sponsored by De Beers created the consumer desire just a few years before World War II. They sought to make diamonds not just rare, but essential for every man seeking to get married. Famous painters such as Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali were commissioned to create landscapes next to advertising text that had a strange fixation on death, of all things. But De Beers tried to plant this subtle idea that diamonds are a kind of shield against mortality. "Diamonds are the most imperishable record a man may leave of his personal life," said one of the ads. That’s part of the source for the famous slogan they eventually cooked up in 1948: "A Diamond Is Forever." A phony "tradition" was also established: a groom must spend two months’ salary on his wife’s stone. But this was not a global standard. British men were viewed...

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Books by this Author

Books by Tom Zoellner at BookBrowse

Recommended in Detail at BookBrowse

The Heartless Stone
The Heartless Stone

by Tom Zoellner

A journey across six continents to uncover the secrets behind one of our most luxurious and costly status symbols. Diamonds are not particularly rare in nature. Nor do they have any intrinsic value. So how did they become the birdcages for our deepest feelings of romantic love and commitment? The answers will surprise you, as this book takes a probing journey around the globe and into the human heart.
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Tom Zoellner 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

  • Dr. Ross Donaldson MD, MPH

    Dr. Ross Donaldson MD, MPH

    Dr. Ross Donaldson is the Director of the Emergency Medicine Global Health Program at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and holds appointments in the UCLA Schools of Medicine and Public Health. He is the critically acclaimed ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Heartless Stone

    Try:
    The Lassa Ward
    by Dr. Ross Donaldson MD, MPH

  • Richard Fortey

    Richard Fortey

    Richard Fortey was a senior paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London. His books include the critically acclaimed Life: A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth, short-listed for the Rh&... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Heartless Stone

    Try:
    Dry Storeroom No. 1
    by Richard Fortey

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