A Calendar of Human History
When looking into the past, the great historian Howard Zinn said, “We never get ‘just the facts.’” We often get glaring omissions and distortions. History is always a selection from an infinite number of facts. And what is selected is based not just on one’s personal interest but on race, class, gender, and other factors. A true picture of the past is rarely achieved, and never by presenting “just the facts.” Historians need the eyes of thousands of people, the ears of poets, a nose for secrets, the hands of a master painter. And by reversing traditional lenses and viewing history through the eyes of the ignored and dispossessed, we gain a radical new perspective. The best historians draw from a rich mosaic of past events, breathe life into them and make them meaningful and useful to the present.
Eduardo Galeano, from Uruguay, was one of Latin America’s most distinguished writers. A recipient of many honors including the Lannan Prize for Cultural Freedom and the American Book Award, his groundbreaking books, Open Veins of Latin America and the Memory of Fire trilogy changed the way we look at Latin America with its rich and complex cultures, traditions and political currents. His book Children of the Days offers day book of poignant and poetic anecdotes from human history. He passed away at the age of 74 in April 2015.