Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Diamonds Aren't Forever?

Stefan Kanfer, in his book on the De Beers diamond cartel, gives Chesterton the last word on Cecil Rhodes, who instead of promoting Western values "illustrated almost every quality essential to the Sultan, from the love of diamonds to the scorn of women." The irony was, as Kanfer points out, that Rhodes' "scorn of women" caused his ruin. While he hid from Poland's aggressively flirtatious Princess Catherine Maria Radziwill, the lady searched his study and carried away the secret telegrams that would eventually lead to his downfall. [The Last Empire, New York: Farrar Straus, 1993. pp. 47-48.]

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