“IT WAS A HAPPY TEAM AND A TOUGH ONE”: The Diamond Smugglers; Signed by Ian Fleming

  • The Diamond Smugglers.

The Diamond Smugglers.

Item Number: 58007

London: Jonathan Cape, 1957.

First edition, early printing of the thrilling true story behind one of the greatest spy operations in history. Octavo, original cloth, illustrated. Boldly signed by Ian Fleming on the front free endpaper. From the library of Stanley Meyer, with his bookplate. Meyer was a Hollywood producer, who met Fleming in 1956. Fine in a near fine price-clipped dust jacket. Jacket design by Denis Piper. Introduction by John Blaze. Rare and desirable signed by Fleming and with noted provenance.

In 1957, as the Cold War raged, Ian Fleming took a break 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.