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

Front Cover
NYU Press, 1997 - History - 317 pages

The classic survey of Latin America's social and cultural history, with a new introduction by Isabel Allende

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.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - carterchristian1 - LibraryThing

This is a remarkable book. For the United States citizen it is a quick trip through the "other Ameican" history, and not the happy upbeat one usual from North of the Border, where in the end ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - papalaz - LibraryThing

Galeano is one of only 2 Uruguayan authors I have read (the other is Onetti). His trilogy Memory of Fire is one of the few non-fiction works that I have regularly recommended. The trilogy is a more or ... Read full review

Contents

120 MILLION CHILDREN IN THE EYE OF THE HURRICANE
1
MANKINDS POVERTY AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THE WEALTH OF THE LAND
9
DEVELOPMENT IS A VOYAGE WITH MORE SHIPWRECKS THAN NAVIGATORS
171
SEVEN YEARS AFTER
263
REFERENCES
287
INDEX
307
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1997)

Eduardo Galeano was born on September 3, 1940 in Montevideo, Uruguay. At the age of 13, he began publishing cartoons for the Uruguayan socialist newspaper El Sol. He worked as a journalist, historian, and political activist. While in his early 30s, he was imprisoned during a right-wing military coup and later forced to flee from Uruguay to Argentina. Later, another coup and several death threats forced him to leave Argentina for Spain where he lived in exile until he was permitted to return to Uruguay in 1984. During his lifetime, he wrote numerous fiction and non-fiction works including Days and Nights of Love and War, Football in Sun and Shadow, Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, Guatemala: Occupied Country, The Book of Embraces, and Children of the Days. In 1989, he won the American Book Award for Memory of Fire. He died of cancer on April 13, 2015 at the age of 74.

Bibliographic information