Diamond: A Journey to the Heart of an Obsession
Review by Jane Werniuk
This book is a real-life thriller about the fascinating yet dangerous pursuit of diamonds. The author, Matthew Hart, a Toronto writer and journalist, takes us along to meet a diamond buyer in Minas Gerais, Brazil, exploration geologists in the Northwest Territories, marine diamond miners on the coast of South Africa and Namibia, sorters at De Beers’ Diamond Trading Co. in London, a master cutter in Antwerp, and the scion of a powerful diamond polishing firm in Bombay.
The book describes how De Beers built up and controlled the diamond cartel and how that control is slipping. It explains the advent of war diamonds and how NGOs have as a result forced the diamond producers to track the provenance of their stones. The scientific description of how diamonds are made and how they are found was the weakest part of the book for me, sounding strained and uncertain. I found the section on cutting and particularly the rise of the Indian polishing industry the most fascinating part of the story.
Diamond is a Viking Hardcover published by Penguin Canada
376 pages including an index, with black and white photographs
For more information or to order a copy phone 416-925-2249, www.penguin.ca
Circle Reply Card No. 102
Mirrors of Stone: Fragments from the Porcupine Frontier
Unearthing the rich heritage of the Porcupine region of northeast Ontario, author Charlie Angus takes us on a journey through ethnic neighbourhoods, bootlegging joints and bordellos. Here you won’t find the conventional history of “great men and events,” but the stories of ordinary immigrants caught up in extraordinary times: pitched street battles, gold smuggling mobsters and big band dance kings. Searching for the roots of his own identity, Angus recreates the disasters and celebrations that defined life in what was then Canada’s frontier.
Louie Palu’s photographic exploration of the “landscapes of memory”–the immigrant graveyards of the Porcupine–moves in compelling counterpoint to the text.
Charlie Angus was born in Timmins and now lives in Cobalt, Ont. Louie Palu is an award-winning documentary photographer whose images have frequently appeared in CMJ’s publications including a series of portraits in the 2001 Mining Sourcebook.
Mirrors of Stone is published by Between the Lines.
156 pages with black and white photographs
For more information or to order a copy phone 1-800-718-7201, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.btlbooks.com