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Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent | [Eduardo Galeano, Isabel Allende (Foreward)]

Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 classic is now further honored by Isabel Allende's inspiring introduction. Universally recognized as one of the most important writers of our time, Allende once again contributes her talents to literature, to political principles, and to enlightenment.

©1997 Eduardo Galeano; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Well written and passionately stated, this is an intellectually honest and valuable study." (Library Journal)
"A dazzling barrage of words and ideas." (History)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (173 )
5 star
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4.1 (71 )
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3.9 (75 )
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  •  
    Gina Papa Los Angeles, CA USA 08-17-10
    Gina Papa Los Angeles, CA USA 08-17-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    "Excellent"

    Well narrated and a very worthwhile book for anyone interested in South American culture and why the "illegal immigration issues" is just a smokescreen to hide a deeper issue, which is the politics of the U.S. and South American countries.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    fishrock Williamsburg, Va USA 02-20-10
    fishrock Williamsburg, Va USA 02-20-10 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Please up-date the addition"

    This is just an amazingly good book on the growth and development of Latin America. Although the date of this edition is 1971, it still is relevant to our time (2010) because the history is still accurate. In spite of its dated edition and perhaps even because of it, it has a particular poignancy as the author describes with pride and hope the 1972 Chilean election of S. Allende. In 1973 Dr. Allende was assassinated by agents of the CIA who installed A. Pinochet as puppet president. Pinochet was much later tried and convicted in international courts of the the murder of Allende and mass murders and torture of many Chileans citizens.
    At any rate, I believe the book is still immensely worthwhile to read. I wish Audible would be much clearer in its representation of this as an older edition of the book in its catalogue and, better yet, change to a new edition.
    In addition, the reader, Jonathan Davis, does a wonderful job of bringing this lengthy history alive.
    Cudos to Audible for making this available in any form.

    20 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas melbourne, VIC, Australia 10-24-09
    Douglas melbourne, VIC, Australia 10-24-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "excellent broad spectrum of history"

    a lucid and free flowing account of latin american history that is a pleasure to listen to and provides a springboard for more detailed analysis. always helps when narrator has a pleasant voice...nice work.....I intend to buy the book

    19 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Coventry, U.K. 11-16-09
    Joe Coventry, U.K. 11-16-09 Member Since 2006
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    "Excellent Book"

    Galeano wants his continent back, and listening to his arguments, who can blame him. This book illustrates some of the deceptive exploitation of the first world towards latin America. The only pity is that the book is dated, I would love to get an update. Get this book, it will certainly make you think!

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ana Calgary, AB, Canada 05-07-12
    Ana Calgary, AB, Canada 05-07-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Can't change the past learned the lessons"
    Any additional comments?

    I like the English translation, but I looked for the the Spanish version first. This book definitely awaked so many feelings...because I identify with its content. I wander if Barak Obama has read it. I hope he has. Because there is a lesson, and the lessons is what is not good for the majorities is not good for the minorities. There is a limit to abuse the word resources and the prize sooner or latest has to be paid.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary 08-29-12
    Mary 08-29-12
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    "Crucial Read/Listen for Readers of History"
    Any additional comments?

    This book is fabulous and Galeano does an incredible job of weaving in the histories of such varied but intertwined states, regions, cultures and sectors throughout Latin America. The narrator was clear and emphatic. When you can give the audio your full attention, the narrative is easy to follow. However, the narrator does speak quickly (relative to other audiobooks from audible.com that I have purchased and listened to), which for some unfamiliar with the subject matter can make the content difficult to follow. So make sure you can hear and pause it when you have to talk to somebody on the bus you're riding to work =)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Boston, MA, United States 01-22-11
    Jeff Boston, MA, United States 01-22-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Dated, both historically and academically."

    This book has a lot of good information, but the whiny tone just got on my nerves after a while. Okay, I get it. Latin America has been exploited for 5 centuries, and this book goes over point by point all the instances in which they've been screwed over. That's an impressive amount of territory to cover, and Galeano does a good job navigating the territory coherently. My problem is that the academics seem backwards. It seems like the research was cherry picked to support the hypothesis, which is ridiculously unnecessary, but lends the air of bullshit to the proceedings even though he's generally correct. The constant jabs at the Imperialists and Bourgeois fill this text with hyperbolic rhetoric that undermines its message. That is if it's message is anything more than polemic. I'm not exactly sure.

    To the person that was annoyed about the, read CORRECT Spanish pronunciations. WTF?

    6 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Petaluma, CA, United States 07-08-10
    Matthew Petaluma, CA, United States 07-08-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Offputting Voice"

    It's with frustration that I say that I couldn't finish or enjoy this book, on account of the narrator (pretentious pronunciation of Spanish-based words) and to a greater extent the voice of the writing. The subject matter was engaging, but there's an anger to the author that gives me greater appreciation for "dispassionate" historians.

    3 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Will 11-08-09
    Will 11-08-09 Member Since 2009
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    "Cry Baby"

    The entire book is written by a victim blaming others for all his problems. May be Eduardo Galeano should look closer to home for some of the problems in South America.

    8 of 80 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rio Delta Wild Harlingen, TX 04-18-10
    Rio Delta Wild Harlingen, TX 04-18-10 Member Since 2004

    I enjoy mysteries, NOT thrillers, contemporary fiction, especially about diverse cultures, and sometimes history, if it doesn't involve too many dates. I often listen to a book multiple times, discovering unnoticed details in the retelling.

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    "aggravating"

    I'm quite tired of this harangue, and find myself doubting the fairness of the author's tirade.
    I'll be hard-pressed to finish listening to this title.

    2 of 41 people found this review helpful
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  • Richard D. Huett
    Guadalajara, Mexico
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "Great historical perspective."

    I bought the book understanding that times and opinions have changed and that facts and figures would be dates (first published 1973). Still, as someone living in Latin America (Mexico) it was very interesting to hear the early 70s discourse with respect to Cuba, Communism, the pillage of the Americas and the imperial America. Reading it in the last weeks of Hugo Chavez's life was especially interesting: 2013 so often sounds like 1973! Recommended!!!!



    (Perhaps the only caveat is that the reader must recognize that the facts and figures quoted are obviously dated).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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