O and neither does he attempt to make the history any less personal than it has to be he isn t in essence attempting to be academic in his writing That said his research is uite impressive by semi academic standards well informed balanced and deeper than you would expect from most any other history book which is written for the general public In the end Galeano s contentious presentation is vindicated by his research To this end Galeano is known as a historian poet or a poet historian That s a nice little niche that he managed to live in I think you will understand it when you read the book when you understand his language and feel the fire breathing passion that ignited its creationWhen I read this book I discovered and was reminded of a great many things about my life in Canada The wealth of my country is predicated on the poverty of other regions These regions have never benefitted from the protection of self development in uite the way that my own has and Canada and Canadian companies are actively working to ensure that those kinds of economic policies never develop and that the underdeveloped countries of the work remain underdeveloped And now that I live in Colombia and have been living here for nearly a year I can see it and feel it in the air The conseuences of a systematic effort by the powers of the world to strip away the richness of this continent its cultures its peoples in an effort to destabilize them politically financially and geographically and reap all of the benefits It is obvious everywhere It is felt everywhere The English language does not communicate this or at least my command of the language doesn t You have to be here to see it and taste it the way that blood and exploitation and desperation are built into a continent that is rich beyond all possible imagination which has had its veins tapped for centuries and which still finds itself muddied in the pools of underdevelopment The North as Galeano calls us fortunate ones has been a cruel mistress a wrestling partner who is infinitely stronger and its weight bears down on this place The North rather than this place wins everyday in everyway possible The book isn t perfect But it doesn t need to be It is a leaping off point for an entire way of understanding the world a confirmation of things that I have imagined to be true that I have heard sailing in the air at universities and in the street and a great searing cry against the dehumanization of a continent because of the unfair distribution of international labour and trade I have so much to read so much to learn As a side note on the afternoon that I finished reading this book I contacted a friend of mine in Canada The two of us did our graduate programs together I told him about the book told him to urgently read it when he finished his thesis told him how it changed my way of understanding Latin America and the place of underdeveloped regions in the world how it challenged some of the few remaining liberal lies that I had gestating in my brain I said to him also that this book convinced me than ever that free trade is a horrifying economic policy and must be fought In this book I read about the horrid past of an entire continent and saw the future of my country It should be read by everybody It is urgent and necessary A fundamental book for understand the social economicculturalscientific and politic condition of Latin AmericaA absolutely must to read for everybody in special all Latin America inhabitantsPerhaps somebody in a near future will write The Open Veins of Africa Two Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent This is an agonizingly lucid account of the of colonisation and depredation of a continent Beginning with the continuing genocide of the native population seguing into the advent of slavery and its replacement with hunger wages for the same back breaking or in the case of the mines lung destroying work as the slaves were forced to carry out and concluding with the neocolonial extraction of Latin American resources by the USA and Europe whatever Latin America makes he argues its main export is cheap labour Corporate vampires and their helpers the US government local dictators This guy writes fiction likes it s non fiction and non fiction likes it s fiction He blends in and out better than anyone I know of What beauty what poetry what defiance what anger what celebration what satire what humour Sheer brilliance Oh and he does his research too Recommended related readings Pedagogy of the Oppressed Exterminate All the Brutes Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology The Wretched of the Earth When Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez presented President Obama with a copy of Eduardo Galeano s Open Veins of Latin America during a summit meeting in 2009 the intellectually gouty noise machine of the bourgeoisie began to flap its collective owls calling the gift an insult to America and Obama s acceptance of it a sign of his acuiescence to communist influences The truths contained in the gift were essentially ignored by the right wind punditry because truth and history have no place in the circus of sound bite chicanery not when the mainstream media is little than a clown car of corporate maleficence whose acuiescence in the plunder and economic repression of Latin America continues unabated the media s boosting of NAFTA for instance is an excellent example of imperialistic mechanisms at workOriginally published in the early 70s Open Veins of Latin America is an elouently written vivid examination of five centuries of genocide theft and political interference by European and American economic interests And while Galeano writes with passion and artistry his history is not the hysterical harangue the noise machine would have us believe The book is well researched and documented but Galeano s intensity and skill as a writer adds gravitas to the irrefutable evidence he presents a thing the noise machine cannot abide They fear his elouence but their attempt to invalidate the book through misdirection using the threadbare histrionics of anti communism failed Open Veins of Latin America is a powerful rejoinder to the stupidity and greed inherent in international corporatism both past and present. Europe Weaving fact imagery into a rich tapestry he fuses scientific analysis with the passions of a plundered 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 social writing will find a singular analytical achievement an overwhelming narrative that makes history speak unforgettab.
Ebook En línea Las venas abiertas de América Latina – ecogenlife.org
An indispensable albeit controversial book to understand Latin America A work of impressive scope essentially the history of a whole continent Just not to confuse anyone about the ideological orientation of the author the book is printed at least in my edition with a nice red cover Now Queen Esther the Second Graders of Doom jokes aside some parts of the book are written in a rather loud tone which many will consider is borderline on propaganda but let me suggest to the adventurous reader toust ignore that and delve into the facts which are well researched and for w Incredibly informative well researched and thought out book that provides context into how Latin America got to the state it is in today Eduardo Galeano passionately recounts the horrific events of the last 7 centuries in Latin America I am neither a history buff nor Latino insider so I discovered uite a bit even as I concurrently traveled and experienced aspects of the region firsthand It should be noted however that the author applies no science or organization to his storytelling Facts are obviously molded for dramatic appeal handpicking specific dates excerpts from JFK speeches etc Footnotes are lacking for a staggering amount of uantitative data despite their couth and seemingly objective presentation Even as I read this book with a grain of salt I still found it powerful For if only a tenth of what is said were true it would still be a humanitarian story worth telling I hope to learn about these forgotten people of Latin America Open Veins was a title in the Hugo Chavez Book Club the Venezuelan strongman surprised President Barrack Obama with a copy in 2009 Open Veins was written by a novelist in the vivid prose of a novel and the history takes many liberties making it like historic fiction On pg 283 author Galeano cited Chilean dictator Pinochet leaving 30000 dead which didn t ring true to my memory A uick check of Wikipedia shows various reports and investigations claim that between 1200 and 3200 people were killed That is Galeano s Open Veins in a nutshell taking various misfortunes and admitted outrages and then massively exaggerating themHow does one rate a book like this which suffers from even a rudimentary understanding of economics eg repeated assertions that individual corporations control prices which is only true of monopolies and lays every concei I read this book out of curiosity and interest in Latin America I was advised that it was Dirty Secrets just rant or left wing rant but decided to see for myself I came away with this as the main idea in Latin America free enterprise is incompatible with civil liberties as Galeano says in his commentary on the book in an afterward The book catalogues the exploitation of the people usually the indigenous people by South American oligarchies and by their European and North American affiliatesIt s certainly been a controversial book First published in 1971 and often condemned and freuently banned in Latin America I doubt it s been on the radar in North American very long The current edition was published in 1997 with a foreward by Isabel Allende It s been in the news recently when President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela gave a copy to Obama and then when commentators speculated on whether or not he would read it Actually I hope he did My first impression was that Galeano s detractors were right the book wasust rant Galeano is a ournalist and he knows how to use words to move readers My impression was that every sentence in the first chapter had emotionally loaded words If his ideas hadn t piued my curiosity I might have put it down Ensuing chapters might come to emotionally loaded conclusions but the presentation of evidence was impressive I can t endorse the ideas completely because I don t know enough to evaluate everything he says but I was impressedGaleano s thesis is that the first the European conuerors Spain and Portugal later European business interests mainly the British and finally the US government and business have promised developmental assistance but delivered subservience largely by economic means by keeping production costs low using raw materials and cheap labor from Latin American and then selling products for large profits even selling them back to Latin American countries at the same time as they prevent them from producing their own products In what seemed to me a telling comparison he contrasts conuistadors arriving in Latin American with the expectation of taking riches home to Europe with settlers in New England fleeing Europe and determined to grow their food and make the products they need for themselves and to stay not seek treasure to bring home In what turned out to be an advantage for North America there was no gold or silver not even promising farms land so the British in comparison to the Iberians tended to ignore the colonies rather than plunder them In this idea Galeano reminds me of Fareed Zakaria s thesis in The Future of Freedom where he explains that wealth in the form of natural resources is actually a deterrent to democracy because it leads to a ruling class that appropriates the resources and uses them to develop the country or to line their own pockets rather than depending on the population to supply funds for the government in the form of taxes Elections don t mean much if the people doing the electing have no power And clearly immigration to America took a far different path in the North than in the South The result was the development of a growing middle class of local producers in North America something that didn t happen in most Latin American countries which developed local oligarchies who themselves continued to be exploited by powerful patrons Galeano s text is colorful and impressive even for someone like me for whom the names and historical events are not familiar He s a master at creating powerful and memorable phrases than sum up probably somewhat simplistically but I ended up thinking often right nonetheless the problem Underdevelopment in South America is a result of development elsewhere a Volkswagen Republic is much like a banana republic nationalization doesn t necessarily redistribute wealth Over and over again he talks about the wealth concentrated among an oligarchy and the widesp. Since its US debut a uarter 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 cultural narrative of the highest uality 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.
Read poverty at the bottom that has characterized many Latin American countries for centuries making it clear over and over again that the outposts pay the price for the wealth of the centers The centers were usually the ports that grew up to serve the Europeans and later North Americans who needed to ship the gold the silver the meat the rubber the bananas or whateverIt s easy for a US citizen to agree with all the details about exploitation by Europeans harder to deal with exploitation by North Americans Legacy of Ashes The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner 2007 confirms US involvement in supporting the governments and business leaders that supported the US companies It struck me reading about the maneuverings of American companies that whether needing bananas or rubber or petroleum they were operating not all that differently from how we re discovering they operate at home and it s abundantly clear at this point that the US is moving toward something like the Latin American republics with wealth increasingly concentrated among the few while the middle class which enabled the US to be different from its Latin American neighbors is dwindling Power in the US is increasingly in the hands of corporations often multi nationals with loyalties primarily to their own interests which may or may not be the people of the United States But perhaps I push this too far I have to note that Galeano as many other Latin Americans deplores the fact that the US has even co opted the name America I had a hard time avoiding it in this review Bottom line This is a highly emotional book but the logic and the evidence is uite definitely not lacking I tend to compare him to Michael Moore who goes after public attention with emotionally charged rhetoric but backs it up with facts and details that prove the need for drawing attention to the issue I cannot evaluate the detail and no doubt Galeano exaggerates and rants but it s still a compelling book that s worth the attention of a thinking person For the past month I have been collecting my thoughts and writing them out and putting them into paragraphs and shaping those paragraphs into a longer article of some sort But nothing has yet coalesced into a thing I would call a review or even a passable reflection This book has left me with a complicated bundle of thoughts and they seem to still transcend the pleasant shaping of words and punctuation into sentences and sentences into paragraphs and paragraphs into something that communicates an appreciation of some piece of work But here I go again Back at the well feeling somehow obliged to make something good out of this scramble of thoughtsPart of my problem is that this book has me caught between three worlds that I have a hard time bringing together The first world is the social democrat and dedicated activist who is particularly concerned by the wrath of economic ineuality in the world and how it is perpetuated by capitalism The second world is that of the historian my field and the thing that I call my profession when I am asked what it is even if I make my money in other ways the thing which nourishes my understanding of the world the thing which gets me excited and impassioned about the world The third world is that of the reader who hopes that a few nice words put together in the right nice order will produce something greater than the sum of its parts and that as a reader I will be able to recognize and appreciate and over enjoy the outcome This world hits all of those points I have so much to say But I must for the sake of time and for the sake of yours keep this short You have already read too much about meThis book when it was released was a firecracker It was bold in its scope nearly unthinkably audacious the sort of work which was hoping to set the world at unease And it succeeded In this work Galeano condemns centuries of pillaging from one of the grand great rich continents of the world for the benefit of another outside continent and its peoples He explains how that process was essential for the fundamental advancement of that other continent how it depended on the natural resources human resources and magical resources that were discovered on that new continent to make important technological and financial advancements In this book Galeano explores how that relationship changed and altered and became and possessive to the point where the entire continent was itself a possession in the great empires of the North And in this book he was one of the first historians and perhaps the first to translate his ideas into a work produced for the public which connected the centuries of pillaging that resulted from European Empire to the contemporary problem of North American Empire in a logical and sensible and horrific progression of time and power That is over four hundred years of history covering an entire continent and of exploitation tossing in a bit of the history of two other continents as well and attempting to explain the driving narrative or challenge of millions upon millions of lives past and contemporary in the process And then it also talks about the contemporary issues of his own time When I said that this book was audacious I meant it It is unthinkably audacious And surprisingly it does all of this fairly well if not perfectly if not seamlessly it does it well That is because Galeano writes like a writer and not like a historian an at the time uniue ability and which has been eualled by few other people working in the field of studying and understanding the past He has a strong opinion about the past which is undeniable and refreshing in its way It is clear that for him as somebody with a historical mindset the past distant and near explains his life and the lives that he sees around him And we all have opinions about our lives of course and many of us develop opinions about the lives that we see around us as well be them informed or ignorant He has ust taken the extra step of looking into the past lives which made his life what it was and found something there that informed and reinforced his frustration He also doesn t hide his opinion behind over written analysis and poorly constructed sentences as so many historians History according to the patterns of five centuries of exploitation Thus he's concerned with gold silver cacao cotton rubber coffee fruit hides wool petroleum iron nickel manganese copper aluminum ore nitrates tin These are the veins which he traces thru the body of the entire continent up to the Rio Grande throughout the Caribbean all the way to their open ends where they empty into the coffers of wealth in the USA.
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Eduardo Galeano was a Uruguayan journalist writer and novelist His best known works are Memoria del fuego Memory of Fire Trilogy 1986 and Las venas abiertas de América Latina Open Veins of Latin America 1971 which have been translated into twenty languages and transcend orthodox genres combining fiction journalism political analysis and history The author himself has proclaimed his ob