Since its US debut, 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 organised the various facets of Latin American history according to the patterns of five centuries of exploitation. Natural resources—such as gold, coffee, and copper—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. All readers interested in great historical, economic, political, and social writing will find an overwhelming narrative that makes history speak, unforgettably.
This classic is now further honoured by Isabel Allende’s inspiring introduction. Universally recognised as one of the most important writers of our time, Allende once again contributes her talents to literature, to political principles, and to enlightenment.
'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.'
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'To publish Eduardo Galeano is to publish the enemy: the enemy of lies, indifference, above all of forgetfulness. Thanks to him our crimes will be remembered. His tenderness is devastating, his truthfulness, furious.'
'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 Chávez, President of Venezuela
'With the flair of a great storyteller, Galeano reveals how Latin Americans have been made slaves in their own countries, with the free marketeers of the West calling the shots.'
'A superbly written, excellently translated, and powerfully persuasive exposé which all students of Latin American and US history must read.'
Choice, American Library Association
'Eminent Latin American author Galeano is both impassioned and a hard-nosed scholar in this well-documented, Marxist-oriented history of Latin America as an exploited continent from the time of Columbus to the present.'
'Well written and passionately stated, this is an intellectually honest and valuable study.'
'Galeano is one of the most well-known and celebrated writers in Latin America, up there with Gabriel García Márquez ...'
Richard Gott, Guardian
'A dazzling barrage of words and ideas.'