Blood Diamonds: Tracing the Deadly Path of the World’s Most Precious Stones

Book Reviews | Nov 18th, 2006

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Author: Greg Campbell
Publisher: Westview Press
Genre: Nonfiction/Social Science
Pages: 280
Retail Price: 9.99
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When my boyfriend first introduced me to the term “conflict diamonds,” or diamonds associated with armed conflicts in Africa, at first I suspected it was his way of getting out of buying me a diamond ring for our engagement. But then he received the book Blood Diamonds for review, and within the first few pages I was introduced to the horrific violence that the global diamond industry has wrought on the poverty-stricken country of Sierra Leone.

A book that’s both hard to put down and, at times, hard to stomach, Blood Diamonds is a real eye-opener both for those who know nothing about the stark realities behind the diamond industry and those who are familiar with conflict diamonds and their origins.

The author, Greg Campbell, an award-winning freelance journalist, takes the reader from the killing fields of the infamous Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in Sierra Leone, a rebel faction which marauded towns and villages adjacent to known diamond fields, to the refugee and amputee filled streets of Sierra Leone’s capital, to the executive offices of the De Beers Group, a company which holds a virtual monopoly over the diamond industry.

The book reveals the flaws with existing certification processes and, as if the stories on Sierra Leone (the main focus of the book) aren’t damning enough, the author traces the connections between the country’s diamond industry and Al-Qaeda operatives responsible for the attack on 9/11. For anyone who has ever considered buying (or being the recipient of) a diamond or, just for the socially conscious, Blood Diamonds is a must read.

Bottom Line: Before you buy a diamond, find out what you’re supporting.
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