Ian Fleming’s world travels, interests, as well as his journalism and wartime experiences, lent authority to everything he wrote. Originally published in 1957, this edition restores the original observations, maps, and language used at that time.
In 1957, as the Cold War raged, Ian Fleming took a respite from writing James Bond to craft a work of nonfiction every bit as tense as a Bond adventure. Aided by an ex-MI5 agent and International Diamond Security Organization operative going by the alias “John Blaize,” Fleming chronicled the IDSO’s infiltration of the “million-carat network” — the world’s most notorious diamond smuggling ring.
Every year, a shadowy band of racketeers pirated a fortune in diamonds out of Africa, and the majority of the stolen gems wound up in the hands of Communist nations. In response, the IDSO commissioned a private army, led by legendary British spymaster Sir Percy Sillitoe, to penetrate and topple the ring. And when the operation was complete, the Sunday Times gave the story to Fleming, who had impressed Sillitoe with his 1956 Bond adventure Diamonds Are Forever.
A remarkable feat of investigative journalism, The Diamond Smugglers is the thrilling true story behind one of the greatest spy operations in history.
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About the Author
Ian Fleming was born in London on May 28, 1908. He was educated at Eton College and later spent a formative period studying languages in Europe. His first job was with Reuters News Agency where a Moscow posting gave him firsthand experience with what would become his literary bête noire — the Soviet Union. During World War II he served as Assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence and played a key role in Allied espionage operations.
After the war, he worked as foreign manager of the Sunday Times, a job that allowed him to spend two months each year in Jamaica. Here, in 1952, at his home “Goldeneye,” he wrote a book called Casino Royale — and James Bond was born. The first print run sold out within a month. For the next twelve years Fleming produced a novel a year featuring Special Agent 007, the most famous spy of the century. The Bond novels have sold more than one hundred million copies worldwide, boosted by the hugely successful film franchise that began in 1962 with the release of Dr. No.
His travels, interests, and wartime experience lent authority to everything he wrote. Based on those experiences, he wrote two pieces of nonfiction — Thrilling Cities and The Diamond Smugglers. He married Anne Rothermere in 1952. His story about a magical car, written in 1961 for their only son, Caspar, went on to become the well-loved novel and film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Fleming died of heart failure on August 12, 1964, at the age of fifty-six.
Table of Contents
1 The Million-Carat Network 1
2 The Gem Beach 13
3 The Diamond Detectives 26
4 The Safe House 37
5 Enter Mr. Orford 48
6 The Million-Pound Gamble 59
7 Senator Witherspoon's Diamond Mine 68
8 The Heart of the Matter 83
9 'Monsieur Diamant' 91
About the Author 105