In this novel take on diplomatic history, Sebastián Hurtado-Torres examines the involvement of the United States in Chile during the Eduardo Frei administration (1964–1970). The Gathering Storm shows how the engagement between the two nations deepened the process of political polarization in Chile.
Hurtado-Torres presents major revisionist arguments about the relationship between Chile and the US during the Frei years. At the heart of his account is a description of the partnership between Frei's government and that of Lyndon B. Johnson. Both leaders considered modernization to be integral to political and economic development, and the US Embassy in Santiago was recognized by all parties to be the center of this modernizing agenda and the practical work of the Alliance for Progress (AFP).
The Gathering Storm portrays the diplomatic and economic relationship between Chile and the United States in a manner that departs from the most militant and conservative interpretations of US foreign policy toward Latin America. By focusing on the active participation of agents of US foreign policy, particularly those associated with the AFP, and not secret operatives of the Central Intelligence Agency, Hurtado-Torres offers a fresh narrative about a critical period in Chilean political history and a new understanding of the ways and means through which the foreign policy of the United States was carried out.
"This is an important contribution to the history of Chile and US-Chilean relations in the 1960s. By addressing this period head on, Hurtado-Torres offers vital new insight into Chile's international history and US involvement in that country, contextualising the 1970s and significantly adding to our understanding of the bilateral relationship."
Tanya Harmer, The London School of Economics
"This is a well-researched study of the influence of the United States upon Chilean high politics, written with verve and displaying sound judgments on an array of topics of importance to U.S.–Latin American relations."
Max Paul Friedman, American University