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

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By Eduardo Galeano, Isabel Allende (Foreword by)
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Staff Reviews

It is hard to explain all the emotions that this book encapsulates. It feels as if everything that has happened, everything that is happening, and everything that will happen has been captured by Eduardo Galeano in this masterpiece.

I remember reading this book in the summer a couple years ago, when all of a sudden it started to rain. Instead of going inside, I felt as if the book had frozen me in place and I would not be able to move until I had digested the entirety of its contents and freed myself from its spell.

This book truly does cast a spell on the reader; as one is transported through space and time witnessing how natural resources in Latin America, whether it is silver, gold, or coffee are all used to enrich the wealth of greedy rich white men while local populations suffer under miserable conditions.

Eduardo Galeano challenges the role the IMF has in helping developing countries. The IMF, or as I refer to them as the Inept Moronic Fools, believe that they are the only ones capable of helping struggling nations rebuild their economies. Yet Galeano criticizes the IMF for taking advantage of Latin American countries, “Economic recession, monetary instability, the credit drought, and a decline in internal purchasing power all helped to capsize national industry and put it at the mercy of imperialist corporation. The IMF has imposed on Latin America a policy that accentuates imbalances instead of easing them.”

Always be wary of wolves that are disguised in sheep’s’ clothing. Maybe this book isn’t actually a book, but rather a beacon that is being passed down through generations by those who remember in order to protect the world against those who forget.

— From Exploitation


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.

About the Author

EDUARDO GALEANO is the author of Open Veins of Latin America, Memory of Fire Trilogy, Book of Embraces and the forthcoming Upside Down

Product Details
ISBN: 9780853459910
ISBN-10: 0853459916
Publisher: Monthly Review Press
Publication Date: January 1st, 1997
Pages: 360
Language: English