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Century of the Wind (Memory of Fire, #3)
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Century of the Wind

(Memoria del fuego #3)

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  1,158 ratings  ·  79 reviews
A unique and epic history, Eduardo Galeano's Memory of Fire trilogy is an outstanding Latin American eye view of the making of the New World. From its first English language publication in 1985 it has been recognized as a classic of political engagement, original research, and literary form. ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 17th 1998 by W.W. Norton & Company (first published 1986)
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Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
The last volume of the trilogy Memory of Fire.

My expectation was less. I thought that after thoroughly enjoying the first (Genesis) and second (Faces & Masks) the novelty would have worn off and I'd have not much reason to gush over it. I was wrong. The metaphors here are as startling as ever, the characters as unforgettable, the relived history as heartbreaking and the prose as ecstatic.

For me Memory of Fire is one rare book which, if I find someone rating it a low 4 stars I'd wonder if he rea
Rui Barbosa believes in the law, and bases his belief on erudite quotations from imperial Romans and English liberals. But he doesn't believe in reality.

None admit to having killed anybody; but then, like them, poverty doesn't exactly sign its name to its crimes either.
For a lengthy time, inadvertently and otherwise, I've plowed through the list of the 1001 Books Before You Die. I've numbered the living, burned the dead, and continue to dream of a day when I've read enough that I can, in goo
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Lena by: Professor Karim
Shelves: sjsu07-f12
This was a fantastic revelation for me:I hadn't previously known very much at all about Latin American history and Galeano's vignettes were a wonderful introduction. The emotive, personal perspective that he is able to share with readers is captivating and educational. I certainly shy away from any description of this novel as a fiction, because the events discussed are completely factual. The way Galeano expresses the brutality of Latin American history should make readers uncomfortable, but al ...more
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having read the historic and mythic Faces and Masks I knew (mostly) what I was getting into with Galeano's Century of the Wind. The previous book was an enraged artistic history of the Americas from the vantage of the oppressed. In this last volume it is again the story of the oppressed, especially the poor worker of the land, but here the oppressor, as well as the local landowner or "president," is also the American corporation and the American government. His short vignettes of violence, revol ...more
Feb 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A must read for all fans of history! It is more than just a book. It is a picture in words.

I strongly recommend reading the entire trilogy, Memory of Fire. This is the third installment of Galeano's ode to Latin America. each chapter is a vignette in the history of the America's.

It contains both the good and bad of an entire continent. After finishing writing it, Galeano wrote that "more now than ever, I feel proud to have been born in this paradise, in this shithole that is Latin America"

This b
Easton Smith
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book made me wonder why we ever read history any other way?

An answer that does come to mind: because this book focuses so much on individual personalities that it risks falling into the great/monstrous man vision of history.

But it is people that I connect to, for better or worse. And Galeano has found some of the truly brave, beautiful, humble and dignified people in history. And also the terrible.

In fact, this book is mostly about tragic events. Every time some group of people garners a
Mar 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This has to be one of my favorite books ever. That's crazy talk, I know, but it's true. I did things a little backwards though since I haven't read the first two books of this trilogy, but if "Century of the Wind" is any indication, then I'm ready for some epistolary, fragmentary entries that render the last century into a beautiful collage of horror, humor, and industrialism. Wow. ...more
Leanne Feliz Pastorpide
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Century of The Wind, the third book in the Memory of Fire Trilogy written by Eduardo Galeano (1986), translated by Cedric Belfrage (1988), is about the history of Latin America in the Twentieth Century. The book is a tangible cry of how the people were brutally silenced and taken for granted. It is the living testimony of the countless unjust deaths. It is the use, misuse, and abuse of power captured in words. Vignette from vignette, it will touch your heart the way no other book can, forming a ...more
Kevin Macdonald
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What It's About: "In Century of the Wind, the concluding volume of his immortal Memory or Fire trilogy, Eduardo Galeano offers us the turbulent twentieth century, from the bucolic New Jersey laboratory of Thomas Alva Edison to the armies of Emiliano Zapata and Fidel Castro to the Reagan-era CIA "neutralization" in the forests of Latin America. Dizzying, enraging, and beautifully written, Century of the Wind is a panoramic vision of the Americas no work of history has previously imagined."
What I
Taighe Selwood
The Memory of Fire Trilogy provides a unique way to learn the history of the Americas. Galeano utilizes gorgeous prose, constrained in short vignettes, to tell his perspective on the tumultuous story that is the colonization of the New World. This unique style allows for the evocation of more emotion and imagination than any straight-forward history text could convey. Though, as Galeano points out himself, this causes the trilogy to become his story of the history.

"Unable to distance myself, I t
Rose Boehm
Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
'Century of the Wind' apparently forms part of a trilogy: 'Memory of Fire'. I had not idea what I held in my hands when an old friend gave it to me last time I was in London, 'Because Latin America is where you live.' Indeed, I live in Peru, and this amazing book helps me understand so much better what happened here and why things are what they are. 'Century of the Wind' can't be described. It's not an easily pigeonholed book. It's a collection (in order of time and carefully researched) of pros ...more
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the finale of a masterpiece of scholarship... Galeano returns to his scathing critique and full-blown evisceration of the narrative of the Americas we all think we know... covering everyone from Edison to Reagan to Zapata to Castro, he covers the depth breadth of the land, detailing, with his unique brand of academia mixed with speechifying rhetorical barbs, the truths of 'actions' by the US in countries deemed dangerously socialist or revolutionary or just not acquiescent to its hegemony... int ...more
Dec 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read the triology in no time, I just couldn't stop. It is not only beatifuly written, it is a piece of the untold history of a remarkable continent because its struggle for life, freedom, civil liberties and justice for their multiple ethnic population.Escapes from being panfletary because the poetry, the recuperation of legends and unknown people and written memorials. I would recommend it to anybody who wants to know Latin America. ...more
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An hour or so from the close of the Memory of Fire trilogy, as I prepared for sleep, I learned of Galeano's passing. With a pain in my chest, I switched on the light and read until the final page. As I found myself at the end of this journey, my device reset itself and has been unresponsive since. On the home screen, beside the title of the series, where Eduardo Galeano's name ought be, there is a blank space. ...more
Dec 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written vignettes recreating moments in history. They may move you, give you goosebumps, haunt you. The prose is so alive and so brutally seductive --it would be easy to read it all in one sitting. I personally recommend reading one paragraph-sized entry a day --or one a week. So richly written, I needed time to digest each one. Galeano is brilliant, brilliant.
Book Wormy
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-read, 1001-read
A fantastic end to an amazing trilogy.

I love the narrative technique and feel I have learnt so much about history that I wasn't aware of before.

Full review here
Jun 25, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Venas Abiertas after a few decades in the cellar.
Jessie Kwak
Nov 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Slowly making my way through Galeano's beautiful historical snippets. He makes history so haunting. ...more
Marc Larrivée
Dec 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It is hard to put into works how both beautiful and sad is writing is.
Jul 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I liked this trilogy a lot, much of Latin American history that I didn't know before. Educational & great read. ...more
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked this one better than the first two in the trilogy, but probably only because I remember this history more, so hearing it from a different perspective but also having a memory of the events from American news was eye-opening.
Robbie Bruens
There's a great recording of the comedian Bill Hicks performing around election time back in 1992 during which he referred to the murderous Reagan/Bush foreign policy in Latin America and then asked "How does it feel to find out we're the Evil Empire?" Even if you're already pretty familiar with the U.S. policy of supporting and arming brutal rightwing dictators throughout the 20th century all around the world (but especially in the countries of the Western hemisphere), it's still astounding to ...more
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
What a beautiful and glorious finalé to the trilogy. Starting at 1900 and going into the 1984, this is a chronicle of the Americas south of the United States. And it is mostly a game of musical chairs between American appointed dictators, popular but socialist leaders, and then back to American appointed dictators. Of revolutions that either change and then perish, or perish without changing.
First, Big Fruit comes to create the Banana Republics, and then we have Big Oil which continues to rule t
Mar 19, 2009 rated it liked it
The other volumes, though heartbreaking, didn't leave me as despairing as this one. In part because I could tell myself that it was all so long ago, that while the arc of the moral universe is long it does bend, it has been bending, towards justice*. But this volume comes up through the 20th century, up into my lifetime, and I can't deny that this is the world we live in. So the death squads and the IMF-demanded austerity measures and the continual assault on human rights by wealthy corporations ...more
Jan 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
This history of Latin America's struggles during the Twentieth Century is passionate, polemical and poetic. Galeano is a committed Marxist but he is also intelligent, subtle when he should be and fair when facts demand it.

The book consists of brief paragraphs labeled by year and location that form a rich mosaic of events, heroes and villains. Galeano cites nearly 500 sources for a picture of Latin America that the typical North American reader is unlikely to get anywhere else.

The book has much i
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
In the concluding volume of this trilogy Galeano focuses on America’s evolution towards the contemporary age. Now instead of racial wars, the twentieth century brought about dictators such as Castro, Trujillo and others. Also many new inventions have been cropping up, not to mention the two world wars. The whole series ends with a letter the author writes about finishing of the trilogy.

On the whole, I can’t really complain about these three volumes. I enjoyed the way they were written and provid
Justin Podur
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
All of Latin American history is told in vignettes in Galeano's Memory of Fire trilogy. This is an amazing, and inspiring, piece of work. I read it once before I knew anything about Latin America, and then again about 15 years later when I knew a lot, and it was even better the second time. An incredible book. When I learned Colombian history I went back and read about the assassination of Gaitan. Galeano is a true artist of history. He sees things differently, and writes about them differently, ...more
Aug 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
a very poetic account of the highs -some- and the lows -many- with which the various countries that make up south and central america, plus mexico endured in the twentieth century. if you happen to be a right wing prosletyzer this book might open your eyes or harden your heart as it slant is certainly socialist. but if your not moved by the manipulation, suffering, failed bravery of so many murdered visionaries than maybe you don't have a heart. i need to read the entire trilogy. ...more
Dec 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A tour-de-force of style and execution, this panorama of fragments, full of the "shits" and "marvels" of the 20th century should WOW you. Yes, this is a Leftist, highly political, satirical book. But how brave of Galeano to tackle so much and manage to, overall, not be overly didactic and moralizing. Though I know he is an activist and very politically engaged, in many ways this is an aesthetic achievement. Enjoy the wild ride. ...more
Nov 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
A less known history of the americas. Focusing primarily on the exploitation of natives and campasinos. Told in potent prose designed to bring dramatic imagery to your mind. Sometimes hard to understand but never put dryly. his pattern of observations became slightly redundant by the end of the book. I lost my momentum but pulled through a few more injustices before finally finishing.
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Eduardo Galeano 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 have been translated into twenty languages and transcend orthodox genres: combining fiction, journalism, political analysis, and history.

The author himself has proclaimed his ob

Other books in the series

Memoria del fuego (3 books)
  • Genesis (Memory of Fire, #1)
  • Faces and Masks (Memory of Fire, #2)

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