Rather than chronology, geography, or political successions, Eduardo Galeano has organized the various facets of Latin American history according to the patterns of five centuries of exploitation. Thus he is concerned with gold and silver, cacao and cotton, rubber and coffee, fruit, hides and wool, petroleum, iron, nickel, manganese, copper, aluminum ore, nitrates, and tin. These are the veins which he traces through the body of the entire continent, up to the Rio Grande and throughout the Caribbean, and all the way to their open ends where they empty into the coffers of wealth in the United States and Europe.
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.
This classic is now further honored by Isabel Allende’s inspiring introduction. Universally recognized as one of the most important writers of our time, Allende once again contributes her talents to literature, to political principles, and to enlightenment.
The life of the real woman, however, was much more complicated. She was sold into slavery as a child, and eventually given away to the Spanish as a concubine and cook. If she managed to make something more out of her life--and she did--it is difficult to say at what point she did wrong. In getting to know the trials and intricacies with which Malintzin's life was laced, we gain new respect for her steely courage, as well as for the bravery and quick thinking demonstrated by many other Native Americans in the earliest period of contact with Europeans.
In this study of Malintzin's life, Camilla Townsend rejects all the previous myths and tries to restore dignity to the profoundly human men and women who lived and died in those days. Drawing on Spanish and Aztec language sources, she breathes new life into an old tale, and offers insights into the major issues of conquest and colonization, including technology and violence, resistance and accommodation, gender and power.
"Beautifully written, deeply researched, and with an innovative focus, Malintzin's Choices will become a classic. Townsend deftly walks the fine line between historical documentation and informed speculation to rewrite the history of the conquest of Mexico. Weaving indigenous and Spanish sources the author not only provides contextual depth to understanding Malintzin's critical role as translator and cultural interpreter for Cortes, but in the process she illuminates the broader panorama of choices experienced by both indigenous and Spanish participants. This work not only provides revisionst grist for experts, but will become a required and a popular reading for undergraduates, whether in colonial surveys or in specialty courses."--Ann Twinam, professor of history, University of Texas, Austin
"In this beautifully written and engrossing story of a controversial figure in Mexican history, Camilla Townsend does a wonderful job unraveling the multiple myths about Malintzin (Marina, Malinche), and placing her within her culture, her choices, and the tumultuous times in which she lived. The result is a portrayal of Malintzin as a complex human being forced by circumstances to confront change and adaptation in order to survive."--Susan M. Socolow, Emory University
"Camilla Townsend's text reads beautifully. She has a capacity to express complex ideas in simple, elegant language. This book consists of an interweaving of many strands of analysis. Malinche appears as symbol, as a historical conundrum, and as an actor in one of history's most fascinating dramas. The reader follows Malinche but all the while learns about the Nahuas' world. It is a book that will be extremely valuable for classrooms but also makes an important contribution to the academic literature."--Sonya Lipsett-Rivera, professor of history, Carleton University