Cecil Rhodes and ‘Barney’ Barnato were born within a year of each other, one the son of a Hertfordshire clergyman, the other in the East End of London. They separately emigrated to South Africa and, despite all the odds, both became multi-millionaires due to their success at diamond mining. Neither lived to reach fifty. Their businesses grew into De Beers Consolidated Mines, the international diamond mining conglomerate. In the process they helped transform a minor pastoral colony into a major industrial nation and became two of the most influential people in the world. This is the story of how they grew in parallel – two giants at the end of the Nineteenth Century.
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