Stones of Contention: A History of Africa's Diamonds by Todd ClevelandStones of Contention: A History of Africa's Diamonds by Todd Cleveland

Stones of Contention: A History of Africa's Diamonds

byTodd Cleveland

Paperback | July 1, 2014

Pricing and Purchase Info

$30.59 online 
$44.00 list price save 30%
Earn 153 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Africa supplies the majority of the world’s diamonds, yet consumers generally know little about the origins and history of these precious stones beyond sensationalized media accounts of so-called blood diamonds.

Stones of Contention explores the major developments in the remarkable history of Africa’s diamonds, from the earliest stirrings of international interest in the continent’s mineral wealth in the first millennium A.D. to the present day. In the European colonial period, the discovery of diamonds in South Africa ushered in an era of unprecedented greed during which monopolistic enterprises exploited both the mineral resources and the indigenous workforce. In the aftermath of World War II, the governments of newly independent African states, both democratic and despotic, joined industry giant De Beers and other corporations to oversee and profit from mining activity on the continent.

The book also considers the experiences of a wide array of Africans — from informal artisanal miners, company mineworkers, and indigenous authorities to armed rebels, mining executives, and premiers of mineral-rich states — and their relationships to the stones that have the power to bring both wealth and misery. With photos and maps, Stones of Contention illustrates the scope and complexity of the African diamond trade as well as its impact on individuals and societies.

Todd Cleveland is an assistant professor of history at the University of Arkansas. He is the author of Stones of Contention and Diamonds in the Rough, as well numerous book chapters and articles on the history of diamond mining and on soccer within the former Portuguese empire in Africa. He has been a Fulbright scholar in both Angola a...
Title:Stones of Contention: A History of Africa's DiamondsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:July 1, 2014Publisher:Ohio University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:082142100X

ISBN - 13:9780821421000

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Acknowledgments
  • One: An Introduction to Africa’s Diamonds
  • Two: Africa’s Mineral Wealth
    Material and Mythical
  • Three: From Illusion to Reality
    The Kimberley Discoveries, the Diamond “Rush,” and the “Wild West” in Africa
  • Four: Consolidation and Control
    The Birth and Growth of the Cartel
  • Five: Creating “New Kimberleys” Elsewhere in Africa
  • Six: The Experiences of African Workers on Colonial-Era Mines
  • Seven: A Resource Curse
    “Blood Diamonds,” State Oppression, and Violence
  • Eight: Mineral Assets
    Diamonds and the Development of Democratic States
  • Nine: Africa’s Diamonds
    A Rough Past with a Brighter Future
  • Study Guide and Selected Readings
    Digging Deeper
  • Notes
  • Index

Editorial Reviews

“A useful, lucid account of this sometimes dark and disturbing trade.” —Matthew Hart, author of Diamond: The History of a Cold-Blooded Love Affair