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Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia

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4.12  ·  Rating details ·  100 ratings  ·  14 reviews
The American military base on the island of Diego Garcia is one of the most strategically important and secretive U.S. military installations outside the United States. Located near the remote center of the Indian Ocean and accessible only by military transport, the base was a little-known launch pad for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and may house a top-secret CIA priso ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Princeton University Press (first published March 1st 2009)
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Raghu
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
We often come across essays showing us how the present times we are living in is the best that mankind has ever seen in terms of material well-being, human rights, justice and freedom. The arguments for this contention are compelling and I do believe they are valid. However, if you belong to small minorities living in forgotten places on earth, without much power and clout, their reality can be quite different. Especially when big, powerful nations are arrayed against them, these minorities migh ...more
Johann Brandstatter
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very thoroughly researched book on an international crime. The author used often very diplomatic language but he was still very effective in delivering the message. A people have been made homeless. Worse, they were dumped without their consent, without means of subsistence in a foreign country, that was just as ill-prepared to deal with them.
The criminals, as so often in history, the almighty United Staes of North America using as a bullyboy the fading Empire that was called the UK. The res
...more
Thavakumar Kandiahpillai
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
There are two major issues raised in this book - US military expansion and the plight of the Chagossians. The latter of course, arose from the former.

The author writes passionately about the first issue. His arguments are well made but given the geopolitical realities, there is very little that will change in the near future. The US is not going to give up its military dominance.

The second issue is linked to the first by the US base at Diego Garcia. If the option was available, the base should
...more
Gwen
Aug 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Island of Shame presents in-depth research in two areas: how Diego Garcia came to be a U.S. military base, and the expulsion of the resident Chagossians and their subsequent fate. The story of the Chagossians focuses on the injustices and human rights violations perpetrated by the U.K. at the behest of the U.S. Vine compares what happened in Diego to other expulsions and expansion of military installations in several locations. The basic information is quite valuable, but unfortunately much of t ...more
Lianne Burwell
Jan 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, library
This book is an extensively researched book about the island of Diego Garcia, as well as the other islands in the Chagos archipelago, which came to the attention of the US in the sixties as a possible military base. How the US colluded with and paid the UK to take control of the islands, and to evict all the people living there, and what happened to the people.

The author says he tries to be balanced in his coverage, but there is little opportunity for balance. The natives were dumped in other is
...more
Peter
May 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book details the history of how the United States with the help of the Brisih displaced the native Chagossians of Diego Garcia in order to develop a military base in the Indian Ocean which would prove to be a picvot point for projecting American military power into the Middle East and Asia.

This story is told in the First person so that a reader can get a ground level feeling for how the US and British (during the 1960's and 70's conspired to deprive the native Chagossians of Life, liberty a
...more
Pablo
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
A well written and exhaustively researched book. While allegedly the UK fought the Malvinas/Falklands War to free these islands at the same time they didn't care about the dispossessed islanders of the Chagos Archipielago. The difference was that the falklanders were the descendants of those who illegaly took the Malvinas from Argentina while the Chagossian people were descendants of slaves. ...more
Summer
Mar 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
This book was really enlightening. I didn't know anything about Diego Garcia before I read this book and now I want to research more to see what has happened to the Chagossians since the book was published. Vine did a great job of showing the personal side of this as well as the political side. Highly recommend. ...more
Neil
Jul 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Brings it all out into the open as to how fucked up the uk government and U.S really are ... To displace islanders from a once peaceful paradise THEIR HOME !! And to be told they cannot return is beyond words .....
Kara
Jul 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
truly an ethnography of empire. impressively comprehensive research.
Jill
Jun 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Fearless, accessible, terrifying and important. Thank you, David Vine.

BUY this book: all author's royalties go directly to the legal fight for this displaced population.
...more
Paul
Jul 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a very enlightening read on the plight of the Chagosians and American imperialism. I'm glad that I read it. ...more
Kaia
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Really good book about a history of people that you usually wouldnt hear about.
David
Dec 13, 2012 added it
Example of what not to do.
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David Vine is Professor of Anthropology at American University in Washington, DC. David’s newest book, The United States of War: A Global History of America’s Endless Conflicts, from Columbus to the Islamic State, will launch in October. The United States of War is the third in a trilogy of books about U.S. wars and struggles to make the United States and the world less violent and more peaceful. ...more

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