The Boring Veins of Latin America

It took Eduardo Galeano 44 years to figure out his own book was boring, poorly written bs; it took me 20 minutes. Years later, Hugo Chavez gifted it to Obama,

“This will go a long way towards permanently curing your insomnia, Barack.”

“The open veins of Latin America” is a boring undocumented book, admits his author
Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano said in an interview published on the Argentine newspaper Perfil.com that he considers his 1971 book “The Open Veins of Latin America”, by far his best-known work, to be so bad he will no longer read from it during public appearances.

The book and Galeano are frequently quoted in songs, films and books, and since the 1997 edition has a prologue from the Chilean author Isabel Allende. Galeano, whose real birth name is Eduardo Hughes Galeano (in Spanish first name is father’s and second mother’s), and now a comfortable board member of pharmaceutical labs in Uruguay, thus joins a list of Latin American left wing intellectuals who after having influenced with ideology whole generations don’t feel comfortable with some of their most emblematic works.

But fear not, Latin American Studies programs will continue to have it in their curricula.

And, while I appreciate your buying through my blog’s Amazon links, don’t bother buying The Open Veins of Latin America. Read this instead.

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4 Responses to “The Boring Veins of Latin America”

  1. Gringo Says:

    Boring undocumented book.

    As you say, it didn’t take long to figure that out. One discovery I made was that Galeano made the claim that Infant Mortality went up during the Pinochet regime. ECLA and World Bank databases show that, to the contrary, the Pinochet regime had an outstanding record in reducing Infant Mortality- better than Fidel’s.

    But I never finished the book.

  2. Gringo Says:

    Interesting that Galeano dropped his father’s surname.

  3. Gringo Says:

    While Montaner’s book on the Latin American Idiot is a good recommendation, the author who enlightened me on Latin America was the Venezuelan author Carlos Rangel. When I was working in Venezuela, I purchased the Spanish language version of The Latin Americans: Their Love-Hate Relationship with the United States, which in Spanish was titled Del buen salvaje al buen revolucionario [From the Noble Savage to the Noble Revolutionary]. So it isn’t only movies whose titles get really changed in the translation.

  4. Fausta Says:

    Excellent choices, Gringo!

    That’s some change in title, indeed.