Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia (Indian Ocean) 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0691138695
ISBN-10: 0691138699
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Trade in your item
Get a $1.50
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used
$16.50
In Stock. Sold by Bybee's Book & Toy Emporium
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: VG+ cond. - minimal shelf wear to DJ - light amount of notes/underlining - otherwise book & pages appear new. Quick shipping & includes tracking! Thank you, from our family owned business!
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
13 Used from $16.50
+ $3.99 shipping
More Buying Choices
13 New from $19.98 13 Used from $16.50
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Vine, assistant professor of anthropology at American University in Washington, D.C., relates the untold story of how in the 1970s, the U.S. forcibly relocated the population of Diego Garcia, a small archipelago near the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, in order to build a military base. Colonized by first the French, then the British, the island was populated by African slaves used to cultivate the coconut plantations fueling Mauritius's sugar industry. Vine reveals how the official U.S. Navy strategy of using island naval bases to secure American power during the Cold War led to the decision to deport the indigenous population, the Chagossians, who were not compensated for the loss of livelihood or property and endured pervasive institutional racism, extreme poverty and health problems. Interviews with surviving Chagossians and the officials who supervised the relocation show the strategic planning and careful coverup in establishing what is now one of the largest military bases in the world. While Vine has done a great service in documenting the forgotten plight of the Chagossians, the book's sluggish pace and painstaking details will dissuade casual readers. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"[A] meticulously researched, coldly furious book that details precisely how London and Washington colluded in a scheme of population removal more redolent of the eighteenth or nineteenth century than the closing decades of the twentieth. . . . [O]ne likes to think that if Barack Obama were somehow to stumble across a copy of David Vine's fine book, he would instantly realize that a great injustice has been done--one that could easily be put right."--Jonathan Freedland, New York Review of Books



"This angry and angering book is well researched, compelling, and valuable to understanding and emerging US 'empire.'"--Choice



"For Vine imperialism, military prerogative and racism have all combined to deny a people a home simply because they were in the way. His succinct style and controlled outrage make for a damning indictment."--Phil Chamberlain, Tribune



"Island of Shame is not just a gut-wrenching account of how a tropical paradise of powder-white beaches and palm fronds was turned into a massive launch pad for America's military expansionist programme. A large chunk of the book is devoted to how the Chagossians came to build their complex but happy society in the islands and the resulting tragedy of their displacement. Above all, Vine is a top flight researcher. . . . We owe Vine a great debt for shining his light on this island of horrors."--Latha Jishnu, Business Standard



"David Vine's story of the Chagossians is an exemplary piece of both socially embedded reportage and investigative journalism, despite a tendency to indulge in the self-conscious idiom of academic ethnography and reflexive criticism of US 'imperialism.' At heart, however, he speaks truth to power. Power, though, is not listening."--Colin Murphy, Irish Times



"David Vine . . . has rendered high service by writing a thoroughly documented expose of the crime, which the world has ignored because one of its perpetrators is a superpower, the U.S., and its accomplice, the U.K."--A. G. Noorani, Frontline



"Vine's important and timely book sheds welcome light on this dark chapter of U.S. military history, questioning the way our military operates and its impact on civilian populations."--Katherine McCaffrey, American Anthropologist

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; 1 edition (April 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691138699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691138695
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #941,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very well researched account of a most disgraceful episode involving the adverse treatment of the Chagossian people by the UK and US governments. It reveals how and why the UK and US governments colluded with each other to remove the Chagossians from the Chagos Archipelago to allow a secret military base to be built at Diego Garcia.

This book is of particular interest to me because the removal of the Chagossians from their islands between 1968 and 1973 occurred during my secondary school years in the Seychelles Islands. I must deduce that, at the time, the removal of the Chagossians was done in a most secretive manner for I do not recall any discussion, conversation, debate, radio program (there was no TV), political debate, public rally, or public comment by the then Seychelles Governor, Sir Bruce Greatbatch, on this issue. Nor do I recall the Catholic Church ever once mentioning this issue at any Sunday mass, or at any other time. My parents, of course, did mention Diego Garcia from time to time, but I can only presume they also were kept in the dark because they never mentioned anything about the plight of the Chagossians. The Chagossians were considered the cousins of the Seychellois, with an almost identical creole language and heritage.

As I read this book, I cannot explain the anger I felt, and feel, for this gross injustice carried out by Britain and America against the innocent Chagossian people. It is tantamount to a crime against humanity. This book exposes the gross hypocrisy of the British and Americans. They were preaching human rights to the world while abusing the human rights of the Chagossians. And all because the US needed Diego Garcia for a military base.

I wish everyone would read this book.
Read more ›
1 Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This is a detailed and well researched account of how UK and US governments conspired in the 1970's to ethnically cleanse a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Over 1000 people were forcibly removed from the Chagos Archipelago to make way for a huge US air and submarine base. It has been in the news recently because the government is trying to make things look better by declaring an MPA and using that as an excuse to prevent the Chagossians from returning.

It's a sickening story that makes me ashamed to be British. I understand that David Vine is donating the royalties from this book to the Chagossian community.
2 Comments 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By ollb on December 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The things we did, with Brit complicity, to the Chagos islanders are shameful. I knew about some of this from Simon Winchester's Outposts, but it has been grossly underreported and ignored by U.S. media. Vine spends more wordage than necessary describing the treatment of and the sufferings of the islanders. He is best when pointing out the U.S. Empire and how it relies on island bases; for this reason, especially, a very valuable book. Our base on Diego Garcia is so secretive and restricted that not much can be told - or known - about it.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anthropologist David Vine spent years researching and writing "Island of Shame", and the meticulousness with which he approached his subject matter shows. For this reader, the book provided important nuances beyond the time constraints of John Pilger's moving television documentary on the deportation of the Chagossians, especially with regard to the type and level of compensation doled out to the evicted Cold War residents of Diego Garcia. (About the only thing missing from "Island of Shame" available within Pilger's first-rate program was the extremely telling on-camera interview with former U.S. Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger, who became visibly irritated, and questioned Pilger's motives.)

Like Pilger, Vine gets up close and personal with some of the deported Chagossians, explains the caste system at play in their new "home", and makes no bones about displaying sympathy for their plight. Likewise, he does a thorough job examining the development of the U.S. government's Strategic Island Concept, and fully chronicles the interplay between Washington and London in formulating the coverup of the handoff of Diego that persisted for decades. And the Epilogue poignantly demonstrates how geopolitical decisions, once made, can pose enduring moral tribulations for those who become cogs in the public policy machine.

Despite this book's painstaking research on a subject of moral significance, Vine's final chapter on the creation of a "Humanpolitik" descends into a broad-based polemic against military installations and American "empire", with precious little analysis of the pros and cons of the Strategic Island Concept and the use of American beach heads (although his discussion of the Bikinians is directly on-point).
Read more ›
Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Albeit that a most restricted number of global people are, in fact, aware of the Diego Garcia saga and its top strategic existence, the book is consequently a must read for people interested in the United States Armed Forces activities which are deemed super secret and which exist around the globe. The book describes how the Super Powers may and have, in this case, completely abuse the lives of theresidents/ indigents as is the subject matter of the book, an island in an archipelago in the middle of the Indian ocean. The story is of a flagrant displacement and abuse of some 2000 humans and animals carried out by the British at the absolute order of the United States Government.The island inhabitants were rudely transported and disembarked a thousand mile away on an absolutely unfamiliar location, that of Mauricius Island.A resultant multi decades long litigation has never brought any acceptable closure and the B-52 top secret airport thrives as one of many such around the globe for the USA/USAF/USN. The news reports for the site are non ever. This is an excellent reading for those interrested in global military knowledge.
5 Comments 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: cultures