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The Heart That Bleeds: Latin America Now Paperback – March 28, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (March 28, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679757953
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679757955
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

First published in the New Yorker, Guillermoprieto's 13 essays reveal the fragile political life and culture in Latin America.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Here are a varied and interesting assortment of profiles detailing the daily struggles of citizens and institutions in nine Latin American countries as told by an insightful and articulate journalist writing for The New Yorker from 1989 to 1993. As a native of Mexico and a resident of New York, Guillermoprieto has an excellent vantage point from which to view the successes and failures of Third World countries experiencing the growing pains and culture shock of political, social, and economic evolution and transformation from the customs and values of the old order to the modern, industrialized state of the future. The clash between the new and the old, as these countries strive to become more "Western" and seek to imitate U.S. democratic and capitalistic institutions and practices, sometimes leaves behind a cultural vacuum as well as ethical and logical contradictions, which the author dutifully explicates. Especially useful for academic libraries.
- Philip Y. Blue, Dowling Coll. Lib., Oakdale,
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "martinaluise7" on December 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
One usually hears about Latin America if there has been an unforeseen coup, a currency crisis, a new Nobel laureate or an impromptu celebrity wedding. This collection is trying to change that and the author, living alternately in New York and Mexico City, is wonderfully equipped to bring light to that region that is steeped in suspicion and mystery. Her travels take her from revolutions to political candidacies, from true believers in every corner of the political spectrum to the disenchanted masses tired of the cant and the sermons from the big brother up north. She shows the mad psychology of warfare, the impossible human dignity that blooms in every sort of adversity. Her writing is powerful because it isn't ornate but informed, distinguished and very scrupulous. Miss Guillermoprieto is a throwback to the kind of reporting that has died on the vine;she is interested in particulars, researches well and doesn't seem to be the least interested in trying to score a showcase piece that has a message but no content. She just writes down what she sees and it's mesmerizing.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Eric G on July 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
In an era of media consolidation, dying newspapers and the death of international coverage, "The Heart that Bleeds" is a welcome breath of fresh air. Alma Guillermoprieto, a journalist at The New Yorker rips the cover off Latin America, introducing us to the people and institutions that dominate life in the region. Even if you're not interested in Latin American culture and politics, check out this book. It is one of the finest examples of true journalism in recent years. It revels in what is fast becoming a lost art form.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 22, 1998
Format: Paperback
Alma Guillermoprieto utilizes all of her journalistic skill in capturing the essence of contemporary latinamerican life, from Mexico to Brazil, from Bogota to Peru. In a series of brief, insightful essays, Ms. Guillermoprieto introduces the reader to the lives of latin americans without forsaking the impact history has on our day to day life. With the eye of a keen observor, she offers up true life stories woven together with wide expanses of historical fact offering a complete picture of an entire country in a single essay. I love this book; I read it slowly because I didn't want it to be done with. I've practically made it required reading for my white friends who are allies in the ending of racism.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andrew D. Selee on June 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
Alma Guillermoprieto presents a stark yet beautiful portrait of everyday changes going on in Latin America, from the life of Colombian youth involved in local gang violence to gender relationships in Mexico. The book is both insightful and poetic.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. Strunz on November 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
Alma Guillermoprieto's "The Heart that Bleeds" is an excellent companion to any more general Latin American history book. Providing thirteen case studies of great Latin American cities at different times from 1989-1993, this book reveals the "real" aspect of Latin America that is so difficult to attain in a "history" book.

It is quite satisfying to read her first entry about Bogotá in 1989, then about Medellín in 1991, and finally Bogotá again in 1993. Questions posed in earlier chapters are tacitly answered in later ones. These chapters tend to carry a strong focus on the drug trafficking in Colombia and allow many trends to become apparent over this four year stretch of time. Where in 1989 police effectiveness may be called into question, by 1991 a restructuring is putting pressure on Escobar, and by 1993 police, private groups, and Escobar's enemies have all cornered him into a pit that he did manage to escape from.

The air, the people, the reality behind the pleasure and pain are all vivid and crisp. Each chapter focuses on a different topic which expands, surprisingly well, into a more general analysis of the country or region in question. The three chapters concerning Colombia discuss the drug trafficking sure, but they they expand into the sicarios- young people hired as assassins to (oftentimes) support their family and their drug addiction. Another chapter reveals the almost comical indifference that has taken root out of necessity in urban inhabitants who must sleep through as many as eleven car bombs a night. The lives of judicial officials and politicians are also explored. Experts and locals related to each field are meticulously interviewed and their most pertinent details expressed through Guillermoprieto's prose.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mountainspring on July 5, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wish the author would update the book, since it is out of date, but it is still extremely compelling and still provides a GREAT portrait of Latin America. This is much better than some up-to-date but very dry & stuffy textbook. The Heart that Bleeds tells you what Latin America is really like. Plus, the author writes so well, the stories just fly by. Easy reading but yet so hard to read b/c of the heart-breaking true reports.
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