Reckoning with Pinochet: The Memory Question in Democratic Chile, 1989–2006

Reckoning with Pinochet: The Memory Question in Democratic Chile, 1989–2006

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by Steve J. Stern
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0822347121

ISBN-13: 9780822347125

Pub. Date: 04/30/2010

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

Reckoning with Pinochet is the first comprehensive account of how Chile came to terms with General Augusto Pinochet’s legacy of human rights atrocities. An icon among Latin America’s “dirty war” dictators, Pinochet had ruled with extreme violence while building a loyal social base. Hero to some and criminal to others, the general cast

Overview

Reckoning with Pinochet is the first comprehensive account of how Chile came to terms with General Augusto Pinochet’s legacy of human rights atrocities. An icon among Latin America’s “dirty war” dictators, Pinochet had ruled with extreme violence while building a loyal social base. Hero to some and criminal to others, the general cast a long shadow over Chile’s future. Steve J. Stern recounts the full history of Chile’s democratic reckoning, from the negotiations in 1989 to chart a post-dictatorship transition; through Pinochet’s arrest in London in 1998; the thirtieth anniversary, in 2003, of the coup that overthrew President Salvador Allende; and Pinochet’s death in 2006. He shows how transnational events and networks shaped Chile’s battles over memory, and how the Chilean case contributed to shifts in the world culture of human rights.

Stern’s analysis integrates policymaking by elites, grassroots efforts by human rights victims and activists, and inside accounts of the truth commissions and courts where top-down and bottom-up initiatives met. Interpreting solemn presidential speeches, raucous street protests, interviews, journalism, humor, cinema, and other sources, he describes the slow, imperfect, but surprisingly forceful advance of efforts to revive democratic values through public memory struggles, despite the power still wielded by the military and a conservative social base including the investor class. Over time, resourceful civil-society activists and select state actors won hard-fought, if limited, gains. As a result, Chileans were able to face the unwelcome past more honestly, launch the world’s first truth commission to examine torture, ensnare high-level perpetrators in the web of criminal justice, and build a public culture of human rights. Stern provides an important conceptualization of collective memory in the wake of national trauma in this magisterial work of history.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822347125
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
04/30/2010
Series:
Latin America Otherwise
Pages:
584
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.60(d)

Table of Contents

Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS....................xiii
MAPS....................xviii
Introduction to the Trilogy: The Memory Box of Pinochet's Chile....................xxi
Introduction to Book Three: Reckoning with Pinochet....................1
The Perils of Truth: Opening the Memory Box, 1989-1990....................13
AFTERWORD "My Dear President"....................61
Toward Memory Impasse? The Truth Commission Moment, 1990-1991....................65
AFTERWORD The Futility of History?....................99
The Circle of Truth, Justice, and Force, 1990-1994....................106
AFTERWORD The Sound of Tick-Tock....................136
Between Prudence and Convulsion: Memory, Triumphalism, and Disenchantment, 1994-1997....................143
AFTERWORD The Joys of "Not Too Much"....................200
The Turn: Consequences of 1998....................211
AFTERWORD Covering History with History? The Making of Silence....................265
Memory as Unfinished Work: New Reckonings, 2002-2006....................273
AFTERWORD Unsettled Monuments: The Struggle for Londres 38....................314
Reframing Democratic Transition: Toward the Memory Paradox of Bachelet's Chile....................324
AFTERWORD The Curious Burial of Augusto Pinochet....................348
Conclusion: Reckoning with Pinochet....................357
ABBREVIATIONS USED IN NOTES AND ESSAY ON SOURCES....................387
NOTES....................389
ESSAY ON SOURCES....................503
INDEX....................525

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