Upside Down, a Primer for The Looking-Glass World, by Eduardo Galeano
In a engine, when one gear goes forward, another is pushed back. Galeano opens the bonnet onto the engine of human 'progress'. In it we see those who drive forward with reckless abandon, those pushed back and those who are ground between the gears or fed to the fuel tank.
This is a wise and wonderful work full of the most quotable quotes. Shaped like a school primer and written from a Latin American center of gravity 'Upside Down' takes us on a funfair ride through consumer culture, asking as he goes if anyone is really served by it.
It is a crime to deny the Holocaust but not to deny the consequences of our own lifestyles and the political hegemony of the powerful. Despite holding up a mirror to the world and showing us an unflattering picture of what we are this book is full of laughs of recognition, freewheeling language and ideas and myriads of quotable quotes and anecdotes. It is also full of rage.
This should be required reading everywhere.
"Plastic delights, plastic dreams. In the paradise promised to all and reserved for few, things are more and more important and people less and less so. The ends have been kidnapped by the means: things buy you, cars drive you, computers program you, television watches you."
"Justice is like a snake, it only bites the barefoot."