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Eugene Robinson just won a Pulitzer, but like most commentators he doesn’t seem to have read the book, Open Veins of Latin America, by Eduardo Galeano, a copy of which Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez recently gave to Barack Obama. In today’s Washington Post, he writes, “Chávez’s gift of the book was meant to affront, not to enlighten, and I would have advised Obama to reciprocate in kind.”
Open Veins is a polemic, but it’s interesting history and not terribly controversial if you happen to live in Latin America. Here’s Time magazine’s nutshell review:
Galeano’s book is a well-researched historical account and, while it does include quotes by Karl Marx, the author’s left-leaning perspective does not rob the book of value. It’s perhaps overly dense with fact after fact after fact — the author doesn’t zoom out often — but the book still makes a convincing argument that Latin America was a victim of European and American exploitation. This is not a difficult case to make when you’re talking about colonialism. But with leftist leaders like Chavez and Bolivia’s Evo Morales assuming power of 21st century Latin American governments, it’s important to understand how they think we got here and who they hold responsible.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Number of free condoms handed out by the Brazilian government in advance of Carnival this year:
The best way to measure happiness is simply to ask people how happy they are.
Following three weeks of clashes between protesters and government forces that killed at least 17 people, Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro announced a two-day extension of Carnival. “Happiness will conquer the embittered,” he said during an appearance at a recreation center.
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”