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

Eduardo Galeano , Isabel Allende , Cedric Belfrage
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 1 1997
This work is a survey of a continent's under-development and the role of the foreign capital and national politics in that process. Rejecting straightforward chronology, the author traces Latin America's exploitation and impoverishment through the history of its principal commodities. Over five centuries, Eduardo Galeano explores the minerals and crops which have made a region poor, while building the fortunes of US and European transnationals. From the gold and silver sought by the Spanish conquistadores to the oil and copper extracted by present-day foreign competitors, Galeano presents a picture of economic injustice. Blending historical fact with poetic imagery, this book is both an critique of transnational exploitation and a tribute to a plundered and suffering people.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Frequently Bought Together

Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent + Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone + Genesis: Memory of Fire, Volume 1
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Review

This book is a monument in our Latin American history. It allows us to learn history, and we have to build on this history -- Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Galeano's vision is unswerving, surgical and yet immensely generous and humane ... Eduardo Galeano ought to be a household name -- Arundhati Roy He has more first-hand knowledge of Latin America than anybody else I can think of, and uses it to tell the world of the dreams and disillusions, the hopes and failures of its people... Galeano denounces exploitation with uncompromising ferocity, yet this book is almost poetic in its description of solidarity and human capacity for survival in the midst of the worst kind of despoilation -- Isabel Allende Remains pertinent nearly 40 years on... Impassioned and lucid, Galeano is a knowledgeable guide through a shameful history of foreign exploitation... If he needs a primer on his southern neighbours, Obama could do worse than studying Chavez's present -- Phil Mongredien Observer A valuable study Sunday Business Post --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Eduardo Hughes Galeano (born September 3, 1940) is an Uruguayan journalist, writer and novelist. His books have been translated into many languages. He says: "I'm a writer obsessed with remembering, with remembering the past of America above all and above all that of Latin America, intimate land condemned to amnesia.' He is the author of Days and Nights of Love and War (winner of the 1978 Casa de las Americas Prize), The Book of Embraces, and the highly acclaimed Memory of Fire trilogy. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic masterpiece Oct. 9 2003
Format:Paperback
Eduardo Galeano's classic work serves as a testament to the world. His words resonate with all of us who have seen and felt the pillaging of Latin America first hand. The book writen in "90 nights," when Galeano was 31 years old meticulously illustrates how Europe and North America have raped, and exploited Latin America in their continued crusade for wealth. Galeano displays how the genocide of the Indigenous Americans and the enslavement of Africans created 'the foundation stone upon which the giant industrial capital of modern times was built'. Read this book and tell me that isn't true.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
"Open Veins", spares noone and can be found insulting to anyone who lives in a society that is working perfectly for them. Someone who sees this world as a perfect place and has read all the history books circulating in the school system would have a hard time grasping Galeano's ideas. But someone searching for truth even if it hurts will benefit imensly from reading this book. All ideas are backed by statistical facts organized so neatly that what would usually be boring material, comes alive to the reader. Even if one doesn't agree on everything and there is a wealth of information in this book, one walks away with a whole new perspective on how things are and came to be not just in Latin America, but in the whole world. Someone famous once said fact is a set of ideas agreed upon. I think Galeano's ideas can be validated just as much as anyone elses who disagees with him. He uses his statistics very well to validate them. Read it even if only you want a different perspective on history. If you are one of the "losers" it leaves you with renewed hope and if you are one of the "winners" you may apreciate more how fortunate you are. Because as Galeano clearly points out power is constantly changing hands and will continue to do so throughout history.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn More, Read this Book! Sept. 16 2002
Format:Paperback
This is a great book for those who want to look at things from a fresh perspective. It is not meant for those who believe capitalism and imperialism are the best options out there. Eduardo Galeano did an excellent job at investigating as well as setting forward a view of Latin America that very few North Americans ever get to know. One warning though: it is not for those faint of heart, this book is explicit and very painful to read; but that is only because the history of Latin America has been very sad and painful. An excellent read, you'll think about this book forever.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Galeano definitly knows to show us the dramitacal consecuences from the Conquer of America by the European nations, and how the impositions of the culture, religion and economic models had their origins here explained. A call for us to know the past in order to look for a better future for America Latina.
The way this investigation is narrated to us is incredible and very enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, must read for us latinos Oct. 16 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I really recommend this book; it opened my eyes to many aspects of Latin American History. Sure, it's not very pretty, but reality usually isn't. I think it's essential for every latino who wants to try to understand our past, present & future to read this book. I read it first in Spanish, just recently a bit of it in English; it reaffirmed my belief that it is best to read authors in their native language (when you can), or as the case may be, in the language the text was originally written. Mr. Belfrage did a good job, but some insights and terms were lost in his translation. Also, I read other customer reviews and it's interesting to note that the only two "bad" comments came from the united states, a place with a very warped view of Latin America.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece exposes long overdue truth Aug. 16 2001
Format:Paperback
If you are at all interested in learning the why and how of how our Latin American world has been abused and pillaged ever since Cristobal Colon set foot on San Salvador Island.....READ THIS BOOK! Mr. Galeano shows us in perfect detail the complete and utter devastation to which our people have been subjected for the past 500 years. It details not only the loss of natural resources, but also of human life at the hand of many (starting with Spain and and all the way up to the United States). It is incredible that some individuals attempt to state that this book is wrong in placing the blame on whom it places it. The book blames both, the the ones who have stolen over the past 500 years and the ones who have allowed it to happen. Those who question the quality of the book are obviously blinded by the rage of having been unsmaked. A true masterpiece of modern literary work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What we should study in school. Sept. 1 2001
Format:Hardcover
This book offers the reader the possibility to understand why the vast majority of the people of one of the richest part of the planet live in misery. The domination of Spain and England has been replaced in the last two centuries by the north American imperialism. The idea that the market is free worldwide is just an illusion, well utilized by the media and by the big corporations all around the world. Galeano was able to describe the complicate situation of the central and southern american countries with simple words, renouncing to the ermetic slang of sociologists and historians yet rigorously documenting the whole reasoning. A must for Europeans and northern Americans. Indispensable for whom want to understand how the global market functions and who are the major players.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good.
Published 20 days ago by Lorne Fisher
1.0 out of 5 stars Too easy
I bought this book because I wanted to travel through Latin America and everyone recommended it. In Bolivia they read it at school. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Catharina Zieriacks
5.0 out of 5 stars No one said the U.S. and Europe are entirely to blame
From what I can see, the negative customer reviews on this book all point to the idea that Galeano is somehow attempting to blame the United States or Europe for all of the current... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Esteban Sabbatasso
5.0 out of 5 stars Open Veins of Latin America
Every now and then, whether the perpetrators want it or not, the truth is showing through the cracks of the hidden history. Wonderful writing. J.L.Viens
Published on Nov. 28 2009 by Jean-Louis Viens
1.0 out of 5 stars Facts are facts, but we cant blame others for out mistakes.
As a REAL LATINAMERICAN that was born and has lived in Latinamerica most of his life i have to say i disagree with this book. Read more
Published on Dec 7 2003 by "edgarn"
5.0 out of 5 stars open veins of Latin america
Great response, good condition and better than average service thank you
Published on Feb. 26 2003 by eileen pearson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Get it. Read it. Understand it. Facts are Facts.
Its a good one.
Published on Nov. 14 2002 by Tito
1.0 out of 5 stars Self Deluding "Facts": Grow Up. You Did It To Yourself
An excellent example of why Hispanic countries are incapable of providing their people with either freedom, democracy, stability or economic security: too many pseudo-intellectuals... Read more
Published on June 2 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening
In truth this book deserves more than 1 star, but I would like to suggest that there are other sources that must be included to truly appreciate the plight of Latin America. Read more
Published on May 18 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars The other side of the history
We could easily say that this is a book again capitalism. It is. Or that the author shows a biased opinion. He does. Read more
Published on Jan. 14 2002 by Justo S.
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