Hart doubtless keeps a few secrets for himself, but he unlocks many more in a text studded with oddments, lore, and...



An absorbing voyage into the demimonde of the diamantaire.

Canadian journalist Hart, editor of the trade journal Rapaport Diamond Report, knows his diamonds, which he rather fancifully calls “windows polished into the heart of man.” Moreover, he knows by face and name many of the principal players in the world diamond trade. Some of those he profiles in this lively narrative are the brothers Campos, garimpeiros (small-scale miners) who in May 1999 found a rare 81-carat pink diamond that wandered the earth, selling for millions of dollars here, reselling for many millions more there; officers of the highly secretive De Beers company, which, until very recently, held a near-worldwide monopoly on the diamond trade; and maverick geologists such as the young Canadian Eira Thomas, whose hunches about mineral deposits in the Arctic turned up a trove estimated to contain 138 million carats of diamonds, enough to supply the world market for at least 20 years—and enough, in combination with other factors, to break the De Beers cartel. Hart observes that diamonds are common throughout the universe. Carbon, from which they are formed, is the fourth most abundant element, he writes, and many of the meteorites that arc across the galaxies contain diamonds in concentrations 300 times richer than the average terrestrial mine; geologists conjecture that a barrage of such meteorites seeded the earth over many millions of years, so that “the diamond on someone’s finger might contain at its center a dot of a jewel whose antiquity goes back 10 billion years.” But diamonds tend to be located where they’re hard to get to, and those who know where to look understandably tend to be close-mouthed about the whole business.

Hart doubtless keeps a few secrets for himself, but he unlocks many more in a text studded with oddments, lore, and technical data, all lightly related. Diamond fanciers and geology buffs alike will find this a trove of information.

Pub Date: Nov. 8, 2001

ISBN: 0-8027-1368-8

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2001

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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Bernstein and Woodward, the two Washington Post journalists who broke the Big Story, tell how they did it by old fashioned seat-of-the-pants reporting — in other words, lots of intuition and a thick stack of phone numbers. They've saved a few scoops for the occasion, the biggest being the name of their early inside source, the "sacrificial lamb" H**h Sl**n. But Washingtonians who talked will be most surprised by the admission that their rumored contacts in the FBI and elsewhere never existed; many who were telephoned for "confirmation" were revealing more than they realized. The real drama, and there's plenty of it, lies in the private-eye tactics employed by Bernstein and Woodward (they refer to themselves in the third person, strictly on a last name basis). The centerpiece of their own covert operation was an unnamed high government source they call Deep Throat, with whom Woodward arranged secret meetings by positioning the potted palm on his balcony and through codes scribbled in his morning newspaper. Woodward's wee hours meetings with Deep Throat in an underground parking garage are sheer cinema: we can just see Robert Redford (it has to be Robert Redford) watching warily for muggers and stubbing out endless cigarettes while Deep Throat spills the inside dope about the plumbers. Then too, they amass enough seamy detail to fascinate even the most avid Watergate wallower — what a drunken and abusive Mitchell threatened to do to Post publisher Katherine Graham's tit, and more on the Segretti connection — including the activities of a USC campus political group known as the Ratfuckers whose former members served as a recruiting pool for the Nixon White House. As the scandal goes public and out of their hands Bernstein and Woodward seem as stunned as the rest of us at where their search for the "head ratfucker" has led. You have to agree with what their City Editor Barry Sussman realized way back in the beginning — "We've never had a story like this. Just never."

Pub Date: June 18, 1974

ISBN: 0671894412

Page Count: 372

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1974

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