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The Dictator's Shadow: Life Under Augusto…

The Dictator's Shadow: Life Under Augusto Pinochet (edition 2008)

by Heraldo Munoz

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381298,882 (3.67)3
Title:The Dictator's Shadow: Life Under Augusto Pinochet
Authors:Heraldo Munoz
Info:Basic Books (2008), Edition: 1st ed, Hardcover, 376 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:NON-CIRCULATING, from Hackley Public Library

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The Dictator's Shadow: Life Under Augusto Pinochet by Heraldo Munoz


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Following a US-backed coup d’etat to overthrow Salvador Allende in 1973, Commander-in-Chief of the Army Augusto Pinochet became the totalitarian leader of the country of Chile. He ruled with an iron fist for the next seventeen years, rounding up political opponents and dissidents, until he opened the country to democracy and was defeated in an election in 1990. Heraldo Munoz, former Chilean Ambassador to the United Nations and survivor of both the Allende and Pinochet governments, brings to light the day-to-day struggle during the country’s period of military rule in The Dictator’s Shadow.

You can tell Munoz is working through a lot of issues in this book. He recalls mass executions of political dissidents and diligently tries to tie their deaths directly back to Pinochet. While Pinochet died in 2006 and the country has been more or less democratic for the last 25 years, there is still a lot of healing to do in Chile. On its face, it’s a political memoir and Munoz tries to place the history of Chile in a greater global context, but each detail, each event, and each vote cast brings it back to the personal. This book is decidedly biased, but Munoz gets to tell his tale just like everyone else. Supporters of Pinochet will scoff and flail while modern citizens enjoy the new Chile. An interesting and eye-opening book. ( )
  NielsenGW | Jun 11, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0465002501, Hardcover)

Augusto Pinochet was the most important Third World dictator of the Cold War, and perhaps the most ruthless. In The Dictator’s Shadow, United Nations Ambassador Heraldo Muñoz takes advantage of his unmatched set of perspectives—as a former revolutionary who fought the Pinochet regime, as a respected scholar, and as a diplomat—to tell what this extraordinary figure meant to Chile, the United States, and the world.

Pinochet’s American backers saw his regime as a bulwark against Communism; his nation was a testing ground for U.S.-inspired economic theories. Countries desiring World Bank support were told to emulate Pinochet’s free-market policies, and Chile’s government pension even inspired President George W. Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security. The other baggage—the assassinations, tortures, people thrown out of airplanes, mass murders of political prisoners—was simply the price to be paid for building a modern state. But the questions raised by Pinochet’s rule still remain: Are such dictators somehow necessary?

Horrifying but also inspiring, The Dictator’s Shadow is a unique tale of how geopolitical rivalries can profoundly affect everyday life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:16 -0400)

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