Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop Cyber Monday Deals Week in Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Amazon Fire TV Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Kids Edition Shop Kindle Voyage Listen in Prime Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars39
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:£9.98+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 2009
I recommend this book to all students, also to those interested in Latin American history and globalization.
This book will challenge some preconceived ideas on population and the resources of "developing nations". It will also help understand what the free market means to developing countries. Also it is a very enjoyable read. This book is an excellent introduction to Latin American history.

Writing Style:

I read 1/3rd of this book on a train journey, so it is well written and interesting to keep you gripped to the book. I personally found the last half of the book to be the most gripping but overal its an excellent book.

Chapter Structure:

Ok very long chapters but broken down into subchapters which makes all the information bite size and highly focused case studies are used to illustrate different aspects of the overall topic of the chapter.


Highly enjoyable and recommended to anyone interested in politics or history.

This is the sort of book which would make a nice gift. On an extra note, I enjoyed this book to the point that I have bought a few of his other books and added them to my pile of must read books for my course. Currently reading Upside down: a Primer for the Looking-Glass World and will have a review up about that book shortly. All depending on when I get to finish it off but some people may prefer that book as it is a lighter read.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2014
I liked this book as it gave me a perspective of how US, British and Spanish imperialism has affected latin America from a latin American viewpoint as the author is Uruguayan. I also read this book at the same time as I read the 'Untold History of the United States' by Oliver Stone. What I liked was how the the facts of the latter confirmed those outlined by Eduardo Galeano. The story of how western democracies have literally economically raped an entire continent is mind boggling and a shameful part of our history. Apart from the economic theft of its resources, the amount of direct and subversive political interference in the sovereign affairs of latin America by us and in particular the United States is equally scandalous. No wonder these countries have little love towards us. To read this book is to read about commercial, political and military exploitation of weaker peoples by strong nation states and it is a shameful indictment of our imperialistic past.

This historic unveiling is well referenced, well told and a good read. I do wish there was more political explanations held within and to some extent the economic facts got somewhat laboured at times. However it was an important read for me as I spend a lot of time in latin America and I regularly come across this historic resentment for deeds done in a bygone well as in recent times. We made many a country in this geographical sphere into a banana republic, this book tells you how we did it, how much it cost us and how much we took away...
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 September 2015
Galeano repudiated this book shortly before he died, saying he had not really had the knowledge required to write this economic history of a continent and that he did not like the style.

This was the perfect excuse for me to give up halfway through as I had found it unoriginal and outdated.

After all, if the author himself disowned it why should the reader make the effort?

Its mixture of history and accounts of personal visits to some of the place mentioned reminded me of a television documentary in which the presenter tries to make history seem more "real".

More seriously, it paints an oversimplified version of greedy monarchies in Spain and Portugal, in cahoots with the hypocritical Catholic Church, ganging up on the defenseless Indians and exploiting them and their resources.

The Americans, of course, are now the main targets and Galeano was a big Fidel Castro fan when he wrote this. Some of his comments on the "achievements" of the Cuban revolution are like the apologias made by admirers of the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 30s, backed up by statistics on tractor production and literacy rates.

If you know South America, then you will be familiar with the view that outsiders are to blame for all the problems even though most countries have been independent for centuries*. It is never the fault of the Brazilians, Argentinians, Colombians etc. but the gringos.

Maybe it's time that those South Americans who blame outsiders for all their problems asked why they themselves have done so little for the continent. However, there is no chance of that happening, believe me.

*In fact the only place on the South American continent that is not independent is French Guinea.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 2004
This book can be irritating to quite a few people, such as conservative Brits who are proud of the British Empire and USA nationalists who think they are dominating the world because they happen to be cleverer.
Extremely naive interpretations of recent history are surprisingly widespread. We need more books like this one; it is packed with facts and figures but it is still easy to read. This is probably because Galeano's driving force is his passion for justice.
33 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2002
This book is quite simply a classic - indispensable. Ever since the conquest Latin America has been robbed, pillaged, exploited by the imperialist countries (first Spain, then England, now USA) - the very structure of the region reflects its reconstruction over 500 years as a source of much of the wealth that we in the core countries of the world system enjoy and take for granted. Moreover you'll discover things you didn't know, like the destruction of independent and progressive Paraguay in the 19th Century.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 September 2013
Amazing Amazing Amazing 3x. Definitely it is an art. This book is a monument. Many friends from around the world asked me about Latin America. If they really want to know about it, it is the book I always recommend. I bought 3 copies: one for myself and two others for a good friends. You will learn not only everything about Latin America, you will learn a lot about the real Europe, the history of Europe that is not in "official" Books. Then you will learn what is the United States of AmeriK.K.K.a. But if you are fool enough to watch mainstream news, forget about it, it is a book that tell the truth without illusion! I wish that every young person in Latin America had read this book, our world would get better.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2013
Firstly upon reading this book I thought it was leaning toward a rant against American policy in Latin America, but the author whilst doing this to begin with, does show in considerable depth the circumstances pertaining in Spain before the conquest. His writing style is easy to follow and it is a fascinating journey through the realms of the past centuries of how a continent has been used and abused for the gain of other continents. Wholeheartedly recommended.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 December 2013
It tells the tragic story of Latin America like no other book. The book will take you up 1970, but the issues then are the issues today so you will get the sense that not a lot has changed. The writer has his finger on the pulse of Latin America and tells its many stories in such a fashion that you move seamlessly from one horror to next almost not being shocked anymore as its terrible history unfolds.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 30 April 2009
This book is a fantastic piece of journalistic-style prose describing, in a wonderful impassioned voice, the unending pillage of Latin America. It flies by and the author really fits a surprising amount in. Anyone interested in development theories should read this as their base dependency theory text. It really portrays the realities of the asymmetry between the metropolis and the pillaged peripheral states of the world economy. Essential reading, as i'm sure many people are finding out since Hugo Chavez gave a copy to Mr. Obama recently thereby raising its profile again..
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 November 2013
An accurate historical account of the imperialism bestowed unto Latin America and other countries whose victims share the same perpetrators. A must read for anyone interested in Latin American history and learning about the suffering imposed on countries as a result of global capitalism.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Customers who viewed this item also viewed

The Penguin History Of Latin America: New Edition
The Penguin History Of Latin America: New Edition by Edwin Williamson (Paperback - 3 Dec. 2009)

Las Venas Abiertas de América Latina
Las Venas Abiertas de América Latina by Eduardo H. Galeano (Paperback - 1 May 2009)

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.