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.
"Well written and passionately stated, this is an intellectually honest and valuable study." (Library Journal)
"A dazzling barrage of words and ideas." (History)
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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 =)
Because the book was originally written in the 1970s, there are enormous volumes of modern economic influences in Latin America that are not included here (e.g. the rise of the drug trade, AIDS, decimation of the American industrial/manufacturing economy, the economic rise of China, the end of the Cold War, NAFTA, US pre-occupation in the Middle East, etc.), which is unfortunate, since the material that is here is so compelling, it almost begs for a follow-up that covers the past 40 years of global economic chaos. This is a great overview of significant historical influences that is a highly worthwhile read.
I know it's regarded as a classic, but compared to his later work this is like a minnow to a whale. The language is default journalistic info mixed with a few brilliant metaphors here and there. It's presented in a way which is very difficult to recall later, which is what this book is presented as, a reference book. Since galeano died a few weeks ago, I feel he will be more and more regarded as the best author of the later 20th century, but this just doesn't compare to the strangeness and poetry of his later work.
Gotta take in count this socialism thing was a novelty in the 70's these are now outdated thoughts... Or are they? The author himself, at the end of his days was kinda proud and ashamed of this book at the same time. He recognized that he didn't knew enough economy to tackle the issues he did on this book. But not everything was too off. I believe he was right in the broad concepts. Latin america (and Africa) started late on this world race for dominance and development and both have been abused in the beginning and is unfair to try to deny the effects of this on their own development or lack of it.
Is interesting how 40 years later these "outdated ideas" of socialism took a grasp on latin america again. It is not just because of the good rhetoric of populist leaders in each country. It is because these ideas were not resolved in those years, but repressed and they remained in the subconscious of the culture. As a permanent doubt in the mind of the latin american people.
I'm not saying socialism is the answer for Latin American countries... I'm saying capitalism as it is today, isn't the best answer. And we all as latin american citizens need to find a better way to grow, collaborating as a region, in a world that seems to shrink each year and lack more resourses... Latin americans have to recognize their common roots, abandon petty preconceived judgements and vices, and start gaining a better sense of the richness of our history. These are the true lessons of this book for our generation.
"The shocking truth"
This is a 'heavy' read and at times I could hardly face the terrible things it describes. The reader also has to concentrate - it is not easy to absorb. However the important truths described are worth the effort. Despite 12 years of association with Latin America I dont think I understood the continent until I read this book - now regarded as a 'must read' by many.
"A must read"
Amazingly written, this book presents a wealth of information, it awakens as much as saddens, but ultimately carries a massively important message about the past and the present. Only by knowing the past we can reconsider our present and alter our future.
"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).
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