Open veins of latin america book review

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open veins of latin america book review

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

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.

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4 Cultures of Colonialism in Latin America

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

Galeano himself was most proud of the impact it had on the streets. Industrialisation benefited foreign multinationals, which acquired cheap labour and captive markets, and exported the profits, while Latin American economies were left reliant on importing high-tech capital goods. Dependency theorists wanted radical popular action to change society. The s and early s were an exciting period for the left. A seminal moment was the election in of Salvador Allende, a Marxist promising a peaceful road to socialism.

Since its U. 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.

Book Review: Open Veins of Latin America

First published in , and considered so incendiary it was banned by the military governments of Chile, Argentina and Galeano's native Uruguay, Open Veins Detailing "five centuries of the pillage of a continent", this economic history of post-Columbus Latin America tells how its inhabitants have in turn been the victims of genocide, exploitative trade deals and, more recently, a string of murderous US-backed dictators. A continent blessed with bountiful natural resources has been systematically stripped of its gold, silver, tin, copper, oil, nitrates, manganese and rubber, while its people remain among the poorest on earth, with high levels of infant mortality, illiteracy and child prostitution. Although the colonial crimes of the US and Spain are not glossed over, these countries are far from the only culprits. Galeano shows how Portuguese naivety made Britain the biggest beneficiary of the 18th-century Brazilian gold rush.

But now Mr. Galeano, a year-old Uruguayan writer, has disavowed the book, saying that he was not qualified to tackle the subject and that it was badly written. In this page cri de coeur, Mr. But I confess I get a pain from reading valuable works by certain sociologists, political experts, economists and historians who write in code. In its heyday, its influence extended throughout what was then called the third world, including Africa and Asia, until the economic rise of China and India and Brazil seemed to undercut parts of its thesis.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Nadine N. says:

    Words that rhyme with ana l auberge du dragon rouge

  2. Amemarear says:

    History and Eduardo Galeano have an intimate relationship.

  3. Andrea B. says:

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

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