Move over Oprah, here comes Hugo Chavez

POLITICS - Want to promote your book? Forget Oprah. Call Hugo Chavez.

Back in September 2006, Chavez flourished a copy of Noam Chomsky's Hegemony or Survival during an anti-American speech to the United Nations, transporting the trenchant analysis of United States foreign policy to Amazon's No. 2 position and sparking a 25,000-copy reprint from the publisher.

And just recently, thanks to the flamboyant Venezuelan president, Uruguayan political writer Eduardo Galeano's 1971 'The Open Veins of Latin America' also shot to No. 2 on Amazon's bestseller list 24 hours after Chavez gave a copy to President Barack Obama. The same Chavez who once compared George W. Bush to the devil, added a tender note: "To Obama, with affection."

Galeano's book "analyzes the history of Latin America as a whole, from the time period of the European discovery of the New World to contemporary Latin America, arguing against European and later U.S. economic exploitation and political dominance over the region."

The gift – and the unexpected friendliness between the two leaders – sent Galeano's book to the top of Amazon's "movers and shakers" category for books that make the biggest 24-hour gains.

Sorry Oprah, you've got competition.

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