Cover image for Blood diamonds : tracing the deadly path of the world's most precious stones
Blood diamonds : tracing the deadly path of the world's most precious stones
Campbell, Greg.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boulder : Westview Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xxv, 251 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HD9677.S52 C36 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
HD9677.S52 C36 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Journalist Greg Campbell leads the reader down the international diamond trail of brutality, horror, and profit - providing an on-the-ground and in-the-mines story of global consequenceFirst discovered in 1930, the diamonds of Sierra Leone have funded one of the most savage rebel campaigns in modern history. These "blood diamonds" are smuggled out of West Africa and sold to legitimate diamond merchants in London, Antwerp, and New York, often with the complicity of the international diamond industry. Eventually, these very diamonds find their way into the rings and necklaces of brides and spouses the world over. Blood Diamonds is the gripping tale of how the diamond smuggling works, how the rebel war has effectively destroyed Sierra Leone and its people, and how the policies of the diamond industry - institutionalized in the 1880s by the De Beers cartel - have allowed it to happen. Award-winning journalist Greg Campbell traces the deadly trail of these diamonds, many of which are brought to the world market by fanatical enemies, including the Al Qaeda network. These repercussions of diamond smuggling are felt far beyond the borders of the poor and war-ridden country of Sierra Leone, and the consequences of overlooking this African tragedy, as the world has seen, are both shockingly deadly and unquestionably global.

Author Notes

Greg Campbell is an award-winning freelance journalist. His work has appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, the San Francisco Chronicle. He lives in Longmont, Colorado

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Journalist Campbell takes the reader on a journey to the dark side of the glittering image of diamonds, a darkness too long out of sight of Euro-American consciousness. Campbell explores the significance of the diamond trade in Sierra Leone, the West African country formed by the British to reward African American slaves who fought for the Crown in the American Revolution. He recounts the horrors of this war-torn nation, with child-soldiers and deranged adults who have reportedly cut off the hands and elbows of innocents or even removed fetuses from pregnant women via machete. The underlying motivation for the violence and strife of Sierra Leone is centered in the diamond trade, much of it illegal smuggling sanctioned by the cartel DeBeers. The trade has earned the name "blood diamonds" and has financed conflicts and rebellions around the world, including the al-Qaeda network. Campbell notes that this same illegal diamond trading that has wrecked Sierra Leone may provide the basis for hope as the West is compelled to address the tragic circumstances of this war-torn nation. --Vernon Ford

Library Journal Review

Freelance journalist Campbell here writes about the cost of diamonds not in dollars to the consumer but in blood, torture, and death for the unfortunate residents of contested mining areas in Sierra Leone. He explains that "conflict diamonds," or "blood diamonds," which account for only three to four percent of all diamonds sold, are mined in war zones, smuggled out of the country, and sold to legitimate companies, financing ruinous civil wars and the plots of international terrorists, including the al Qaeda network. The gems' value and portability have made controlling the diamond mines important to guerrilla fighters, who maim and kill innocent villagers to secure their territory. Campbell has spoken with individuals all along the pipeline, from miners to soldiers to smugglers, and the grim portrait he paints will make many people think twice about buying another diamond. While Matthew Hart's Diamond: A Journey to the Heart of an Obsession covered the international diamond trade more widely, this focused study of the catastrophic effect of blood diamonds on Sierra Leone belongs in all libraries. Deirdre Bray Root, Middletown P.L., OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Glossaryp. ix
Prologuep. xiii
Impact: The Price of Diamonds (Medecins Sans Frontieres Camp for Amputees and War Wounded, Freetown, Sierra Leone, Summer 2001)p. xiii
1 From Pits of Despair to Altars of Love (Kenema, Sierra Leone)p. 1
2 Diamond Junction: A Smuggler's Paradise (Freetown, Sierra Leone)p. 25
3 The Gun Runners: From Tongo to Tiffany's (Monrovia, Liberia)p. 59
4 Death by Diamonds: Operation No Living Thing (Freetown, Sierra Leone)p. 79
5 The Syndicate: A Diamond Is Forever (London)p. 99
6 Waging Peace: Taking the Conflict out of "Conflict Diamonds" (Makeni, Sierra Leone)p. 139
7 The Way Station: Next Stop, Liberia (Kailahun, Sierra Leone)p. 165
8 "The Base": Osama's War Chest (West Africa, Afghanistan, New York)p. 183
9 The Rough Road Ahead: Mining for Peace (Freetown, Sierra Leone)p. 203
Epiloguep. 213
Acknowledgmentsp. 227
Notesp. 231
Indexp. 239