Book event

Presentation by David Vine

Tuesday, October 26th, 7:30pm
Bethesda Public Library 7400 Arlington Rd, Bethesda, MD 20814

American University professor David Vine presents his book Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia. Island of Shame is the groundbreaking work that dares to expose the other Guantánamo, looming at the isolated heart of the Indian Ocean. Although most don’t know it exists, the US military base on the island of Diego Garcia is one of the most strategically important and secretive US military installations in the world, serving as a launch pad for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a top-secret CIA prison, and a centerpiece for US domination of Middle East oil supplies. But Diego Garcia harbors another dirty secret, one that has been kept from most of the world—until now. Island of Shame is the first major book to reveal the shocking truth of how the United States conspired with Britain to forcibly expel Diego Garcia’s indigenous people—the Chagossians—and dump them in impoverished exile.

“[A] meticulously researched, coldly furious book that details precisely how London and Washington colluded in a scheme of population removal more redolent of the eighteenth or nineteenth century than the closing decades of the twentieth. . . . [O]ne likes to think that if Barack Obama were somehow to stumble across a copy of David Vine’s fine book, he would instantly realize that a great injustice has been done–one that could easily be put right.”–Jonathan Freedland, New York Review of Books

“For Vine imperialism, military prerogative and racism have all combined to deny a people a home simply because they were in the way. His succinct style and controlled outrage make for a damning indictment.”–Phil Chamberlain, Tribune

“The story of the U.S. base on Diego Garcia, and the cruel displacement of the island’s people, has long been hidden from the American public. We owe a debt to David Vine for revealing it to the larger public.”–Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States

“Until I read this book, why had I heard almost nothing about the Chagossians? Their forced relocation from Diego Garcia is a disgraceful violation of human rights that should be far better known. I hope that David Vine’s painstakingly researched account is widely read, and that it makes its readers furious.”–Anne Fadiman, author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

For more information:, or visit

Read David’s op-ed in the Washington Post about Diego Garcia

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