The Last Empire: South Africa, Diamonds and De Beers from Cecil Rhodes to the Oppenheimers


This history of the diamond mining industry in South Africa chronicles the diamond rush that transformed Johannes De Beer's humble 19th-century South African farmstead into an exotic Klondike. Kanfer recounts the rise of wild frontier towns like New Rush (now Kimberley) and Johannesburg, and their roisterous mix of plutocrats and prostitutes, gamblers and politicians, and the developing power of Cecil Rhodes, who would rule both Cape Colony and De Beers. The book depicts the roots of the racial crisis in the developing land ...

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