The first book to offer a panoramic and unflinching look at the modern
diamond industry, The Heartless Stone is a journey across six continents to uncover the secrets behind one of our
most luxurious and costly status symbols.
The book takes you inside illegal mines in Brazil, diamond smuggling rings in Africa, exploration rigs above the Arctic Circle, the sweltering polishing shops of India. You will meet De Beers executives in London, high-tech tunnel drillers in Australia, advertising gurus in Japan, starving soldiers in Angola, chemists in Siberia, dealers in Belgium. They are all part of a vast economy which supports the most sustained, expensive and successful advertising campaign in history.
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.
Central African Republic
They had come across the river that morning, he said, as he took
the stones from his pocket.
He set them in a line on the patio table. They looked melted and yellowish, as if someone had put them to a blowtorch. The smuggler and his three friends studied me as I held one up to the sunlight and tried to peer into it.
Were going to have to make this quick, said the man who owned the house. The police could come in, and then wed all be in jail. He smiled vaguely at this thought. Across the alley, birds roosted in the broken-out window frames of a government building.
The smuggler watched me handle the rock. He said something in French to his friends. One of them tapped out a quick rhythm in his hand with the butt of his cell phone. Another glanced at the door to the alley and fingered the edge of the jacket he wore, even though it was a warm day.
You brought these from the Congo? I asked.
Diamonds are not particularly rare in nature, nor do they have any intrinsic value, so how did they become the symbol of our deepest feelings of romantic love and commitment? Tom Zoellner ably answers this question by taking the reader on a fascinating journey around the world to reveal the bloody story behind the shiny gem found in the jewelry collections of 7 out of 10 American women.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (507 words).
Tom Zoellner has worked as a
contributing editor for Men's Health
magazine and as a reporter for the
San Francisco Chronicle. He is also
the co-author of
An Ordinary Man, the
autobiography of Paul Rusesabagina,
whose actions during the 1994 Rwandan
genocide were portrayed in the movie
Hotel Rwanda. Zoellner lives in New
York City and is at work on a third
More about diamonds:
Global Witness is an NGO that works to expose the link between natural resource exploitation and human rights abuses. Their website ...
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'Offers an exquisite chronicle of the rise and fall of this bituminous black mineral.... Part history and part environmental argument, Freese's elegant book teaches an important lesson about the interdependence of humans and their natural environment both for good and ill throughout history.'
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