Open Veins of Latin America

Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent

First Indian Edition

ISBN(s) 81-88789-66-6
Pub. Date October 2008
Pages xiv+318
Dimensions 9.5 x 6.25 in.
Rights For Sale in South Asia Only
  India Elsewhere
Paperback 81-88789-66-6
₨. 450

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Erudite, angry, sweeping in its scope, Open Veins of Latin America is a powerful survey of a continent’s under-development and the role of foreign capital and national politics in that process.

Eduardo Galeano traces Latin America’s exploitation and impoverishment through the history of its principal commodities. Over five centuries, he explores the minerals and crops which have made a rich region poor, while building the fortunes of US and European transnationals. From the gold and silver sought by the Spanish conquistadores to the oil and copper extracted by present-day foreign corporations, Galeano presents a disturbing and fascinating picture of economic injustice.

Blending historical fact with poetic imagery, Open Veins of Latin America is both an impassioned critique of transnational exploitation and a tribute to the passions of a plundered and suffering people. Isabel Allende’s inspiring Foreword to this classic text testifies to Eduardo Galeano’s status as one of Latin America’s foremost writers.


Foreword by Isabel Allende: From 'In Defense of the Word'
Introduction: 120 Million Children in the Eye of the Hurricane

Part I: Mankind's Poverty as a Consequence of the Wealth of the Land

  1. Lust for Gold, Lust for Silver
  2. King Sugar and Other Agricultural Monarchs
  3. The Invisible Sources of Power

Part II: Development is a Voyage with More Shipwrecks than Navigators

  1. Tales of Premature Death
  2. The Contemporary Structure of Plunder

Part III: Seven Years After


Esa noche nos invadió la tristeza (That Night Sadness Invaded Us), linocut by Artemio Rodriguez


I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Galeano's vision is unswerving, surgical and yet immensely generous and humane. This book, written more than thirty years ago, contains profound lessons for contemporary India. Eduardo Galeano ought to be a household name in this country.

— Arundhati Roy

He has more first-hand knowledge of Latin America than anybody else I can think of, and uses it to tell the world of the dreams and disillusions, the hopes and the failures of its people.…Galeano denounces exploitation with uncompromising ferocity, yet this book is almost poetic in its description of solidarity and human capacity for survival in the midst of the worst kind of despoilation. … This almost superhuman talent for storytelling is what makes Open Veins of Latin America so easy to read. The book flows with the grace of a tale; it is impossible to put it down

— ISABEL ALLENDE, from the Foreword

A superbly written, excellently translated, and powerfully persuasive exposé which all students of Latin America and U.S. history must read.

— CHOICE, American Library Association

About Eduardo Galeano Read full profile ›

Eduardo Hughes Galeano (1940-2015) was a Uruguayan journalist, writer and novelist. His best known works are Memoria del fuego (Memory of Fire Trilogy, 1986) and Las venas abiertas de América Latina (Open Veins of Latin America, 1971) which... Read more

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