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 provided me with a lot of information about the development of South America. It’s pity that they are out of print and maybe a fourth volume could be written as well?
Onwards to volume two of the Memory of Fire trilogy!
This time round Galeano tackles the years 1700 – 1900. Again there’s a lot dedicated to the suffering the Indians had to go through. However, there are more chapters on America turning into a superpower and the plight of black slavery. He also mentions how society is moving towards the contemporary era by mentioning products such as Levi’s and Coca-Cola.
As such there’s no huge change in the writing style or approach. The standard still is consistent and I enjoyed this volume as well.
Due to the amount of out of print books in the 1980’s segment of the challenge, I had to order a lot of books beforehand instead of taking it one book at a time, as I had done for the 90’s and 00’s, When I found out that I was tackling a trilogy I did groan a bit. I mean staying stuck on the same book for a while can get a little bit tiresome – especially now that I’m starting school again so my increased workload means decreased reading time.
But I enjoyed this first volume so far. Galeano is attempting to chronicle the history of South America (and some other places in the areas such as Cuba) and starts off with Indian mythology and works his way til 1700. All the famous people have their parts – Columbus , Pizarro , Drake , Philip II etc .
The reason why I’m probably enjoying this so much is that all the info is presented into little bite sized chunks and vary a lot, sometimes there are poems , anecdotes and historical info . What Galeano is trying to bring out is that the history of South America is one of slavery and a race who were deprived for their land and culture, all in the name of progress.
Anyway volume 2 focuses on the years 1700 – 1900. Should be interesting