Open Veins of Latin America

Does Eduardo Galeano succeed in managing to convey 500 years of Latin American history in a few hundred pages and why did Hugo Chavez choose to give this book to Barak Obama?

In Open Veins of Latin America Eduardo Galeano has told 500 years of Latin American history by following how gold, silver, cacao, cotton, rubber, coffee, fruit, wool, petroleum and precious metals and ores have been exploited. It doesn’t sound like a thriller but it is enthralling and more than any book I have read, it made me look at my consumption and charitable giving. There is little doubt even amongst the most ardent that Latin America has received a raw deal from its northern neighbours and European colonists. This book goes some way to showing you the extent that a proud people have been crushed, but it shows that there is room for optimism if we all look at what we take from and give back to society. That is why it was an important gift for the President of the United States from the now departed President of one of the nations it tried to crush.

Open Veins

Enjoyment rating

Rating three



  1. Interesting review. I’ve heard a lot about this book–seems like I’ll have to add it to my list after reading your review.

      1. Hmm..have you read Last Days of the Incas by Kim MacQuarrie? Really interesting look into the Spanish conquest and the 20th-century expeditions to Machu Picchu and the last capital city of the Incas, Vilcabamba. Griping narrative.

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