Latin America Reading List

Open Veins of Latin America

Eduardo Galeano,  Monthly Review
Weaving fact and imagery into a rich tapestry, Galeano fuses scientific analysis with the passions of a plundered and suffering people. An immense gathering of materials is framed with a vigorous style that never falters in its command of themes. All readers interested in great historical, economic, political, and social writing will find a singular analytical achievement, and an overwhelming narrative that makes history speak, unforgettably.

Days and Nights of Love and War

Eduardo Galeano, Monthly Review
Days and Nights of Love and War is the personal testimony of one of Latin America’s foremost contemporary writers. In this fascinating journal and eloquent history, Eduardo Galeano movingly documents the myriad acts of courage and resistance of the Latin American people during a period of intense violence and extreme repression. Alternating between reportage, personal vignettes, interviews, travelogues, and folklore, and richly conveyed with anger, sadness, irony, and humor, Days and Nights pays loving tribute to those who continue to believe in, and fight for, a more human existence.


Violence in Colombia 1990-2000

Waging War and Negotiating Peace
Charles Bergquist, editor, Scholarly Resources
A collection of essays from academics from Colombia and North America. This book deals with economic issues, drug policy, and structural violence. It also delves into Colombia’s history looking for precedents to the current situation, and makes useful comparisons with neighbouring countries like Bolivia and Ecuador. A highly useful text, even considering that there are other good books on Colombia out there.

The War Against Oblivion

John Ross, Common Courage
A very readable, very informative history of the Zapatista movement until 2000. John Ross has been in Mexico from the beginning and easily conveys his journalist’s knowledge to an English-speaking audience. ‘Our Word is Our Weapon’ by Marcos is probably the best collection of the Zapatistas’ own words, but it doesn’t replace Ross’s book.


I, Rigoberta Menchu

Rigoberta Menchu, Verso
By telling her own story, Menchu provides insight into the whole history of indigenous in Guatemala and, indeed, in Latin America. And not only that, but of the oppression of women, and the strength that she and so many others have found to fight it.

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