January 22, 2018
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By Herald Staff
El ángel negro: La feroz vida de Carlos Robledo Puch by Rodolfo Palacios (Sudamericana) 272 pages

Like any other country Argentina has known some vicious criminals but probably none rival Carlos Eduardo Robledo Puch, who in an 11-month killing spree just over 45 years ago slaughtered that number of people, including both his accomplices (one of whose faces he removed with a sand-blaster among other nasty ways of ending lives). The horror of his crimes was only enhanced when this monster turned out to be a baby-faced, blue-eyed boy with blond curls just out of his teens — the press immediately dubbed him the “angel of death.” Decades later Rodolfo Palacios (who has been a crime reporter in several media outlets for over half of his not quite 40 years) braved making the acquaintance of this iconic psychopath and from that relationship starting in 2008 emerges this biography, of a tortured soul including such phrases as: “There is no antidote to the dark.” Apart from a couple of half-hearted attempts to place this mass murderer in the context of the 1966-73 military dictatorship and the violent times which followed, nobody has ever tried to justify Robledo Puch’s crimes and neither does Palacios but he does shed some new light.                   

Llegar al Futuro by Dario Werthein and Carlos Magariños (Sudamericana) 192 pages

The great scientist Albert Einstein had various memorable comments to make about creativity such as: “Creativity is intelligence having fun” and “Creativity is more important than knowledge” but the one the authors have chosen as the pillar of this book is: “Creativity is born in anguish, as the light of day follows the darkness of night,” concluding that it is from this crisis that all the great discoveries arise. Although it is not quoted here, these authors also seem to feel challenged by that old joke about this country (which is also often made about Brazil): “Argentina is a land of the future, always has been, always will be” — they seek to answer that nagging question of why Argentina with all its vast potential has never ended up becoming a great nation. Both graduates of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) Economics Faculty with many years abroad (where Argentines always seem more successful than at home), the two authors have different career experiences but share a fascination with this question, which they also run past various experts. If you are curious about the future with the advance of globalisation and technology, you might want to check out this book but if not, no worry —the future will arrive anyway.

Cita con tu independencia económica by Nicolás Litvinoff (Planeta) 309 pages

This book goes beyond being merely simple arithmetic for small investors to offer advice on how to combine personal finances with individual lifestyles. The author — an economist and financial expert perhaps best known to a wider public for his columns in La Nación — gives his readers the benefit of his own 10 years of trial and error in seeking economic independence (there isn’t anything he hasn’t tried, he assures us). He challenges the reader to abandon the comfort zone of a (perhaps not so) safe job to take control of their own lives and future — free from the tyranny of bosses, commuting, unbearable colleagues and the fear of being fired or simply spending the whole day staring out of the.window if spared all of the above but stuck in a dead-end rut. This book does not promise any magic solutions to get rich quickly but provides a step-by-step plan (complete with exercises just like in school) to generate one’s own income in order to free up one’s time for more pleasurable activities — pleasures which might well end up including the means of achieving financial independence outlined here as well as their ultimate ends.                         

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Edition No. 5055 - This publication is a property of NEFIR S.A. -RNPI Nº 5343955 - Issn 1852 - 9224 - Te. 4349-1500 - San Juan 141 , (C1063ACY) CABA - Director Perdiodístico: Ricardo Daloia