Gemma Alexander's Reviews > The Stone of Heaven: Unearthing the Secret History of Imperial Green Jade

The Stone of Heaven by Adrian Levy
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's review
Jul 02, 08

it was amazing
bookshelves: history, natural-history, travel, narrative-nonfiction

The first part of the book is a history of Imperial Jade, and it reads like a fantasy epic. But the authors are investigative journalists, and the book finishes with their undercover exploration of the secretive jade mines in Burma. They reveal a chilling underbelly of the gem trade that uses heroin and AIDS to pacify a virtual slave labor force that makes Blood Diamonds almost seem wholesome. But somehow, I was still left with a fascination for the rare green gem that would tempt to buy more if I could afford it, even knowing how it props up the repressive regime in Burma.
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