Friday, August 15, 2014

Booknote: Los hijos de los días

Eduardo Galeano, Los hijos de los días. Montevideo (Uruguay): Ediciones del Chanchito, 2012. ISBN: 9789974620193.

I recently read Los hijos de los días by Eduardo Galeano. This was a very nice and easy read, and I learned some new things along the way. The book is arranged as an almanac with a story for every day of the year. Galeano presents a very diverse selection of stories and facts. They are all presented in a good narrative style that now and then evokes a sense of wonder. 

Remember a while back when Hugo Chavez gave President Obama a copy of Galeano's other book, Las Venas Abiertas de América Latina? (link to my review). In fact, I suggested we give Obama that book among with some others when he was elected president. It took Chavez to finally get it in his hands, go figure.  Well, we probably should give President Obama a copy of this book as well. In fact, I think a lot of United States denizens might help alleviate their ignorance of geography, history, and current events by reading this book. Don't worry. If you cannot read it in Spanish, it is available in English translation as The Children of the Days

The book not only covers Latin America. Galeano truly takes us on a globe-trotting journey across time. A few things you might learn by reading this book: 

  • Nelson Mandela was in the U.S. terrorists' list until 2008. 
  • Learn about the invasion of the U.S. by Iraq in 2003 (a bit of reverse history). 
  • Baby Rupert grey up to be a capitalist media tycoon. How did he learn about capitalism? During his college days, he read Marx and admired Lenin. 
  • Learn about the Mexican invasion of the U.S. in 1916 (this really happened). 
  • And more. . . . 
 Though I borrowed this one via Interlibrary Loan from my library, it is one I would love to add to my personal collection. This is definitely a good book to give to young readers. It will not only educate, but it may also urge them to read other things and learn more. 

If you ask me, 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. 

And to end, I have to share the book's beautiful epigraph that opens the book: 

"Y los días se echaron a caminar.
Y ellos, los días, nos hicieron.
Y así fuimos nacidos, nosotros, 
los hijos de los días
los averiguadores. 
los buscadores de la vida." 
--El Génesis, segun los mayas


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