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Publisher's Summary

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.
©1997 Eduardo Galeano; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Well written and passionately stated, this is an intellectually honest and valuable study." (Library Journal)
"A dazzling barrage of words and ideas." (History)
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Customer Reviews

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By fishrock on 02-20-10

Please up-date the addition

This is just an amazingly good book on the growth and development of Latin America. Although the date of this edition is 1971, it still is relevant to our time (2010) because the history is still accurate. In spite of its dated edition and perhaps even because of it, it has a particular poignancy as the author describes with pride and hope the 1972 Chilean election of S. Allende. In 1973 Dr. Allende was assassinated by agents of the CIA who installed A. Pinochet as puppet president. Pinochet was much later tried and convicted in international courts of the the murder of Allende and mass murders and torture of many Chileans citizens.
At any rate, I believe the book is still immensely worthwhile to read. I wish Audible would be much clearer in its representation of this as an older edition of the book in its catalogue and, better yet, change to a new edition.
In addition, the reader, Jonathan Davis, does a wonderful job of bringing this lengthy history alive.
Cudos to Audible for making this available in any form.

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29 of 32 people found this review helpful

By Douglas on 10-24-09

excellent broad spectrum of history

a lucid and free flowing account of latin american history that is a pleasure to listen to and provides a springboard for more detailed analysis. always helps when narrator has a pleasant voice...nice work.....I intend to buy the book

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20 of 23 people found this review helpful

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By Richard D. Huett on 04-07-13

Great historical perspective.

I bought the book understanding that times and opinions have changed and that facts and figures would be dates (first published 1973). Still, as someone living in Latin America (Mexico) it was very interesting to hear the early 70s discourse with respect to Cuba, Communism, the pillage of the Americas and the imperial America. Reading it in the last weeks of Hugo Chavez's life was especially interesting: 2013 so often sounds like 1973! Recommended!!!!

(Perhaps the only caveat is that the reader must recognize that the facts and figures quoted are obviously dated).

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

By Catherine on 04-12-16

The shocking truth

This is a 'heavy' read and at times I could hardly face the terrible things it describes. The reader also has to concentrate - it is not easy to absorb. However the important truths described are worth the effort. Despite 12 years of association with Latin America I dont think I understood the continent until I read this book - now regarded as a 'must read' by many.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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By ZAP22 on 01-27-18

The most powerful book I have ever read

I am not qualified enough to review Open Veins. All I can say is that it is the most powerful, heart-wrenching, and emotional narration of History that I have ever come across.

Its incisive and relentless understanding of the mechanics of pillage, both in the past and happening right now, makes me understand my own country better and place in relevant and social context world-events unfolding in the second decade of the 21st Century.

I will never forget the impact this book had on me.

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By Guillermo Aranguren on 07-14-17

Great review of Latin American history before 1970

Great review of Latin American history before 1970, it is unapologetic in its leftist tone but accurate and poetic in the colonization and cultural heritage of the entire Latin American continent as civilization and geography.

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