Open Veins of Latin America
Eduardo Galeano, Cedric Belfrage
Since its U.S. debut a quarter-century ago, this brilliant text has set a new standard for historical scholarship of Latin America. It is also an outstanding political economy, a social and cultural narrative of the highest quality, and perhaps the finest description of primitive capital accumulation since Marx.
Rather than chronology, geography, or political successions, Eduardo Galeano has organized the various facets of Latin American history according to the patterns of five centuries of exploitation. Thus he is concerned with gold and silver, cacao and cotton, rubber and coffee, fruit, hides and wool, petroleum, iron, nickel, manganese, copper, aluminum ore, nitrates, and tin. These are the veins which he traces through the body of the entire continent, up to the Rio Grande and throughout the Caribbean, and all the way to their open ends where they empty into the coffers of wealth in the United States and Europe.
Weaving fact and imagery into a rich tapestry, Galeano fuses scientific analysis with the passions of a plundered and suffering people. An immense gathering of materials is framed with a vigorous style that never falters in its command of themes. All readers interested in great historical, economic, political, and social writing will find a singular analytical achievement, and an overwhelming narrative that makes history speak, unforgettably.
This book is a monument in our Latin American history. It allows us to learn history, and we have to build on this history -- Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Galeano's vision is unswerving, surgical and yet immensely generous and humane ... Eduardo Galeano ought to be a household name -- Arundhati Roy He has more first-hand knowledge of Latin America than anybody else I can think of, and uses it to tell the world of the dreams and disillusions, the hopes and failures of its people... Galeano denounces exploitation with uncompromising ferocity, yet this book is almost poetic in its description of solidarity and human capacity for survival in the midst of the worst kind of despoilation -- Isabel Allende Remains pertinent nearly 40 years on... Impassioned and lucid, Galeano is a knowledgeable guide through a shameful history of foreign exploitation... If he needs a primer on his southern neighbours, Obama could do worse than studying Chavez's present -- Phil Mongredien * Observer * A valuable study * Sunday Business Post *
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