Beyond The Silver River: South American Encounters

Front Cover
Bloomsbury Publishing, Dec 1, 2011 - Travel - 224 pages
0 Reviews
During the five years Jimmy Burns was based in Buenos Aires, which resulted in his award-winning study of the Falklands War and its aftermath, The Land That Lost Its Heroes, he also embarked on further-flung journeys in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Chile. 'Each South American country is idiosyncratic - it brings out our individual fantasies and forces us to interpret anew,' writes Burns. Certainly to travel with him is to trace the footprints of history - conquest and subjugation, defiance and hope - yet to encounter at each turn a fresh observation, the unexpected.

He conducts us by steam train up the Andes and down to the treacherous depths of a Bolivian tin mine. We find a hotbed of Argentine loyalties in Tierra del Fuego, beaches of bodies beautiful in Brazil and Peruvian streets where fanatical Sendero Luminoso guerrillas wage a permanent power struggle with the military.

Burns introduces us to Sixto Vazquez, Indian intellectual with an unshakeable faith in legend and animism; to Tina, White Russian Duchess of Platinov, who now presides over an eerie domain of enormous moths in the Ecuadorian rain forest; to Father Renato Hevia, the editor of a Jesuit magazine in Chile who is harassed and detained if he fails to mention Pinochet in even one edition.

To this journey of discovery Jimmy Burns brings all the clarity of vision and eloquence of expression for which he was awarded the 1988 Somerset Maugham Award for Non-fiction.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


The Shuttle to the Uppermost Limits
Looking forDona

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

Jimmy Burns was born in Madrid in 1953. His father the late Tom Burns met his mother Mabel Maranon while working in the British embassy in Madrid during the Second World War. Jimmy contributes Spanish language media outlets and publishes his books in Spanish translation as Jimmy Burns Maranon. His childhood was spent straddling cultures -Britain, Castille, and Catalonia. He went to school at a British school in Madrid, then a preparatory school in London before studying for his O and A-levels at the Jesuit Stonyhurst College in Lancashire.

He took a BA honours degree in Latin American & Iberian Studies at University College, London and an MA in the politics and government of Latin America at the Institute of Latin American Studies in London and The London School of Economics and Political Science. On leaving university, he spent two years teaching English to foreign students, and travelling, gaining experience as a free-lance journalist writing about Latin America and Spain.

In 1977 Jimmy joined the Financial Times and was posted to Portugal as Lisbon correspondent, reporting also on Spain.

In mid-1986 he returned to London to work at the Financial Times and prove himself as an author.

Bibliographic information