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Glitter & Greed: The Secret World of the Diamond Cartel + The Last Empire: De Beers, Diamonds, and the World + The Heartless Stone: A Journey Through the World of Diamonds, Deceit, and Desire
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Disinformation Books (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932857605
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932857603
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #948,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Brides-to-be hoping for a diamond engagement ring are advised to keep "Glitter & Greed" out of their fiances' hands." -- Boston Globe, Oct. 12, 2003

"Roberts delivers her information without any apprehension--it is a life's work, a piece to admire." -- Newcity Chicago, September 25, 2003

"Roberts’ research is meticulous and exhaustive... [but] she knows how to keep things interesting and engaging." -- Minnesota Daily, September 25, 2003

"[An] intriguing expose" -- Star Tribune (Minneapolis/St. Paul), Nov. 3, 2003 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Bob Manson on August 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I hesitate to give this book such a poor rating, because it's significantly better than the other accounts I've read and the facts need to be heard. But, following the all-too-familiar trend of the modern "factual account", it's poorly written and presents its case in a rather slapdash fashion.

While I have no doubt that the basic story (DeBeers' blatant manipulation of diamond prices, dangerous working conditions in diamond mines, and rampant trade in "blood diamonds") is accurate to some degree, it's a challenge to find anything resembling specific claims with definite proof. The book reminds me more of a "20/20 expose" than a careful, verifiable and accurate telling. Random photographs scattered throughout the text (of such fascinating subjects as outside entrances to mine workers' quarters) do little to improve this impression. Worse, there are a few "side subjects" (such as a discussion of synthetic diamonds) that contain obvious inaccuracies.

There's an interesting and vital story here, and Roberts is to be commended for presenting it in the face of a cartel with billions of dollars at stake and no compunction to "play fair". (Compare Roberts' relatively hard-hitting story to Michael Hart's ambivalent, yet very probably DeBeers-approved, "Diamond".) If the appendix describing her difficulties in getting her film aired is to be believed, there's more than a little "funny business" going on.

But... it's such a fascinating story that it doesn't need the journalistic excess that permeates this book. A sober and straightforward account would've been more convincing and ultimately more helpful.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
A glittering account of the diamond trade
This review was in The Independent newspaper in the UK on May 22nd. It is by Boyd Tonkin. I think it one of the best.
"After Disney apparently refused to handle Michael Moore's celluloid polemic, Fahrenheit 9/11, the row over market censorship rumbled long and loud. That's America - and Hollywood - pundits over here might say. In Britain, and in the book world, we take such liberty for granted.
We can't, of course. Publishers' fear of libel suits - in particular, of "libel tourism" by foreign claimants - acts as an often-invisible brake on controversy. Mostly, it inhibits not vapid tittle-tattle about private lives but serious reportage. Take Craig Unger's House of Bush, House of Saud, acclaimed in the US for a careful exposure of the close ties between the two first families. Here, Secker & Warburg announced the book but then failed to release it. In other cases, news of the suppression of books may emerge very late, or not at all. Thanks to an intrepid US firm, an extraordinary example has just come to light.
Disinformation, a New York outfit, has issued a formidably well-researched and widely-sourced account of the global diamond trade by the Australian-based investigative journalist Janine Roberts. It strikes this lay reader as one of the most dogged and damning exposés of a near-monopolistic industry to appear in years. The greater wonder is that it has appeared at all.
Roberts first began to unearth the stories of diamond miners and traders while reporting a clash between Aboriginal people and prospectors more than 20 years ago. The project meant, above all, following the trail of De Beers.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Oliver A. Williams on April 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is about the best and most up to date record of the offensive cartel that is De Beers. Roberts details pretty much everything I have learned in the last six years as a synthetic diamond grower. There is some seriosuly good investigative journalism in this text, only let down by the diamond growth chapter - but hey, she isn't a scientist one doesn't expect perfection. However, it would have been nice if she cited Hazen's "The Diamond Makers", especially since the person who she credits with the first man made synthesis of diamond is largely thought of as having only grown silicon carbide (relatively easy to confuse the two on hardness at least).

Roberts maages to gain access to some places thought untouchable such as the De Beers mines, and it is depressing to find that everything you hear on the grapevine is basically true. This industry is hard to fathom at the best of times, with the corruption and unethical treatment of human beings.

Worse still is the wool being pulled over the consumers eyes over conflict diamonds, exploiting the progession of consumer conscience. This is horrible and there needs to be some real action from the UN, rather than getting into bed with the problem!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on November 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Written by journalist and human rights activist Janine Roberts, and now in a newly revised edition, Glitter & Greed: The Secret World of the Diamond Cartel is a shocking expose of the inequalities, economic manipulation, inhuman treatment, and outright cruelties facilitated and perpetuated by the global Big Diamond industry - most notably the notorious De Beers and Oppenheimer cartels. Chapters go far beyond the injustice covered in the recent popular movie "The Blood Diamond", revealing how some major diamond companies collaborated with Hitler's Germany and industrial diamond supplies were artificially restricted, damaging the American war effort in World War II; how child labor is used to cut diamonds, with horrifically detrimental effects on children's health; how tuberculosis and other life-threatening conditions flourish among diamond miners; how terrorism has milked money from the diamond trade for decades; why the Kimberly Process meant to protect Americans from supporting murderers with their diamond money has failed; and how the myth that diamonds are "rare" has been perpetrated through the fixing of diamond prices and other nefarious means. A chilling expose that not only roots out evidence of cruelty but also proposes reforms and solutions. In an era of rampant corporate greed, immorality, and malfeasance, "Glitter & Greed" is a "must-read" for anyone considering buying a diamond, and carries the absolute highest recommendation.
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