The Chile Reader
makes available a rich variety of documents spanning more than five hundred years of Chilean history. Most of the selections are by Chileans; many have never before appeared in English. The history of Chile is rendered from diverse perspectives, including those of Mapuche Indians and Spanish colonists, peasants and aristocrats, feminists and military strongmen, entrepreneurs and workers, and priests and poets. Among the many selections are interviews, travel diaries, letters, diplomatic cables, cartoons, photographs, and song lyrics.
Texts and images, each introduced by the editors, provide insights into the ways that Chile's unique geography has shaped its national identity, the country's unusually violent colonial history, and the stable but autocratic republic that emerged after independence from Spain. They shed light on Chile's role in the world economy, the social impact of economic modernization, and the enduring problems of deep inequality. The Reader also covers Chile's bold experiments with reform and revolution, its subsequent descent into one of Latin America's most ruthless Cold War dictatorships, and its much-admired transition to democracy and a market economy in the years since dictatorship.
I. Environment and History 9
II. Chile before Chile: Indigenous Peoples, Conquest, and Colonial Society 59
III. The Honorable Exception: The New Chilean Nation in the Nineteenth Century 121
IV. Building a Modern Nation: Politics and the Social Question in the Nitrate Era 193
V. Depression, Development, and the Politics of Compromise 273
VI. The Chilean Road to Socialism: Reform and Revolution 343
VII. The Pinochet Dictatorship: Military Rule and Neoliberal Economics 433
VIII. Returning to Democracy: Transition and Continuity 521
Selected Readings 605
Acknowledgment of Copyrights and Sources 613
"The Chile Reader is terrific. It is organized into tightly conceived thematic sections and includes a superb range of documents. The editors' introductions to each of the volume's sections prepare the reader for the documents to come and provide overarching arguments about their collective meaning. Similarly, the brief notes that preface each selection explain why the particular document matters and suggest how it might be read. This book is perfect for students and anyone interested in learning about Chile's complex history. I give The Chile Reader my highest praise."
Heidi Tinsman, author of
Buying into the Regime: Grapes and Consumption in Cold War Chile and the United States
"There is no better introduction to this endlessly fascinating country. Chile has been a showcase for democracy and then for dictatorship, for radical and then for neoliberal economic experiments. This volume allows readers to get beyond and beneath the theorizing, to the source documents and to the writings of the historical actors themselves. The selection is masterful and provides a reliable and satisfying path to understanding this uniquely conflicted society."
John Dinges, author of
The Condor Years: How Pinochet And His Allies Brought Terrorism To Three Continents
"For those who have never visited Chile or do not know a great deal about the country, this Reader is an impressive and accessible introduction to it. . . . For those who are more familiar with Chile, there is also a lot to reflect on and rethink in a new light. . . . The Chile Reader is a highly recommended, illuminating and thought-provoking read."
LSE Review of Books
“This book is recommended as a general, non-narrative introduction to Chilean History and for use in courses in Latin American History or, more specifically, the Southern Core.”
Colonial Latin American Historical Review
“A major contribution of The Chile Reader to scholars is that many of these documents have never before been published in English. All these texts represent precious resources not just for scholars who are studying Chile and Latin America, but even for Chileans themselves who want to understand how their nation was forged.”
Journal of Latin American Geography
“The Chile Reader is an invaluable teaching tool.Graduate and undergraduate students will find inspiration for research projects among its pages. This remarkable volume is essential for scholars, students, travelers, and anyone who wants to learn about Chile’s complicated and fascinating history.”
The Latin Americanist
“The Chile Reader is an accessible, perceptive, and engaging text. … It offers ... insightful and fresh syntheses, at the same time that it provides rich documents and images that afford ample opportunity for informed reflection from readers. … [T]he volume is not only an excellent resource, but also an impressive intellectual achievement.”
Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology