Stories Of Almost Everyone

Eduardo Galeano

Published: 2 September 2010
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 400 pages
ISBN: 9781846272202

Translated by Mark Fried


In Mirrors, Galeano smashes aside the narrative of conventional history and arranges the shards into a new pattern, to reveal the past in radically altered form. From the Garden of Eden to twenty-first-century cityscapes, we glimpse fragments in the lives of those who have been overlooked by traditional histories: the artists, the servants, the gods and the visionaries, the black slaves who built the White House, and the women who were bartered for dynastic ends

About the author

Image of Eduardo Galeano

Eduardo Galeano's works, which have been translated into 28 languages, include Memory of Fire; Soccer in Sun and Shadow; Days and Nights of Love and War; The Book of Embraces; Open Veins; and Voices of Time. Born in Montevideo, he fled in 1973 after the military coup's leaders imprisoned him, and lived in exile first in Argentina until death threats there forced him onward to Spain, until returning to Uruguay in 1985 upon the collapse of the military dictatorship. He has lived there since, active in journalism, television and politics. He was awarded the first Lannan Prize for Cultural Freedom. More about the author


‘[In Mirrors] Galeano widens his scope to nothing less than an alternative history of humankind, achieving this monumental task with rare grace, wit and passion for truth ... With a storyteller's flourish, he invites us to look past official history and into our own real nature and past ... Galeano's skill as a writer and his fine sense of historical irony make this both an easy-to-read, funny and profound book’ Marc Lambert



‘A constantly dazzling and occasionally witty text that will open eyes and drop jaws’ Brian Donaldson

‘A storyteller's view of our past that has captivated its original Spanish-speaking audience’ Sue Baker

‘An endlessly fascinating book, a mirrored cabinet of curiosities in which every item reflects every other’ Iain Finlayson

‘Brightly coloured commonplace book of a kind that was once popular in our culture but has now almost disappeared ... The beauty of Galeano's book lies not just in the eclectic choice of stories he tells, but more especially in his elegant, pared-down prose, sensitively translated by Mark Fried, with never an unnecessary word, nor one out of place ... Galeano's book is pure delight - a cornucopia of wonderful stories. It should be by everyone's bedside - and in every Christmas stocking’ Richard Gott

‘Combining vast knowledge with irresistible story-telling skills (reminds you of Gabriel Garcia Marquez), Galeano's world history is spun out in little cameos that make a mosaic of ordinary lives lived on our "sorry, sparkling planet" ... Galeano exposes the cunning of history and its half-truths; he merely states what he sees or chooses to see that many of us otherwise overlook. And that is "as true as truth's simplicity"’

‘Composed of miscellaneous stories about landmark historical events told by people whom the history books have forgotten, this is a book that is bound to grow in stature. It is frequently recommended by customers to us’ Edinburgh Bookshop

‘Galeano charts the rise and fall of civilisations with compassion and wry humour ... [He is] an enchanting interpreter of history and its resonances, and a poetic voice of political dissent’ Siobhan Murphy

‘Galeano shares with George Orwell the very best of traits: an intellectual honesty and a belief in human values, not to mention a clear writing style. That is why Eduardo Galeano matters’ Andreas Campomar

‘Galeano's stories are sharp, witty and spare. I've never read a book with so many huge ideas written into such tiny capsules’ David Dawkins, Pages Bookshop in Hackney

‘Galeano's voice lends Mirrors its coherence, transforms the book into a patchwork of particular feats and foibles picked from our long and common history’ Alberto Manguel

‘In his most ambitious work since Memory of Fire Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano retells the history of the world from the point of view of the powerless, the voiceless and the dispossessed. As in Memory of Fire, he presents his story as a series of short vignettes, one longer than a page and most a good deal shorter; their cumulative effect is shattering’

‘It is no criticism - rather the reverse - to say of Galeano's book that it defies categorisation ... In earlier age, the author might have cast this history as a great epic poem. It has that feel’ Christian Tyler

‘Mesmerising, passionate and dazzlingly original. Highly recommended’ David Wood

‘Remarkable condensed history of the world from the Iron Age to the Information Age’ Caroline Sanderson

‘There is a mysterious power in Galeano's storytelling. He uses his craft to invade the privacy of the reader's mind, to persuade him or her to read and to continue reading to the very end, to surrender to the charm of his writing and the power of his idealism’ Isabel Allende

‘To publish Eduardo Galeano is to publish the enemy: the enemy of lies, indifference, above all of forgetfulness. His tenderness is devastating, his truthfulness furious’ John Berger

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