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Library JournalSalvador Allende failed in his bid to be president of Chile so many times that he joked that his epitaph would read "Here lies... [the] future president of Chile." He was finally voted to power in 1970 as head of one of the first democratically elected Socialist governments in Latin American history. On September 11, 1973, however, after three years of optimism and chaos, Allende lost his life in a coup that brought about the military regime of Augusto Pinochet. This collection of newspaper articles, interviews, and essays published in El Excelsior by Mexican journalist Scherer García provides astute and courageous firsthand reports of the harrowing political upheaval of Chile in the 1970s. The book has four sections, each providing a different view of the political actions of the period. These include an interview with Pablo Neruda, as well as an audience with Allende himself, in which he outlines his views of Chile's social democracy and its similarities to other Latin American revolutions. However, it is the sections on the military coup and Pinochet's iron grip on Chile that make for the most chilling reading. Scherer García undertakes perilous investigative journalism to uncover figures, statistics, and testimonies of the disappeared to provide a shocking glimpse of life after Allende. Each article and essay is full of factual detail yet is perceptively analyzed. A welcome and necessary addition to any academic library.—Alison Hicks, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder
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