Eduardo Galeano is a journalist, a native of Uruguay, a soccer enthusiast, whose heart beats hard against every injustice he recognizes in the world. He loves America. He writes about America. Not just the America from California to the New York Island or the United States from Cozumel to Guadalupe Island. He writes about the America that was before exploration turned to exploitation, before the Arawaks were exterminated and the Huastecsendangered. Galeano traces common threads in its cultures, its struggles and its histories. Having experienced imprisonment in his native land, Galenao threw his lucky dice across the river. But in Argentina he soon found that censorship left him little to write about. In Spain he wrote and waited. His most well-known book, Las Venas Abiertas de América Latina, tracks the tortured fates of Latin American and Caribbean countries from colonialism to the self-inflicted wounds of corrupt leadership.
Each story day in this new book, Los Hijos de los Días (The Children of The Days, translation mine), corresponds to one day of the year. America is still his main stomping ground. Galeano denounces the plight of the indigenous people, commemorates the revolutionary spirit that put the slave trade out of business in Haiti and celebrates the cultural pride that has spurned the invasion of the McDonalds franchise in Bolivia. He writes about the invention of the printing press which initiated the massive publication of “the most passionate novel in literature.” Ghandi’s March to the Sea. When Christmas became a religious holiday. He’s an imp who can’t help but sow seeds of doubt. Why do we think US soldiers liberated France from the Nazis? What about the Spanish republican troops that got there first? He likes to expose things. You can see why he got into trouble in the 70s in Latin America. Still, he runs through all of these serious topics in a a conversational, almost chummy voice. You walk into a bar. You have a beer and a sandwich. You start chatting with the guy next to you about the weather. You have another beer. You guys move on to sports. Best Latin American teams. Argentina in the 70s. Conspiracy theories. Did J Edgar Hoover really tape the President having sex? Before you know it, you are saying things that sound fresh and bright, even to you. You howl at each other’s jokes. You weren’t sure about this pub but maybe you’ll come back. There’s someone here you’d love to bump into again. That’s what a Galeano books feels like. The author publishes shorts and excerpts from his books on his site.