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Augusto Pinochet: The Life and Legacy of Chile’s Controversial Dictator

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*Includes pictures *Includes Pinochet's quotes about his life and career *Includes contemporary accounts about Pinochet's reign and controversies about his human rights record *Includes online resources, footnotes, and a bibliography “Not a single leaf moves in this country if I'm not the one moving it. I want that to be clear!” - Pinochet For much of the 20th century, South A *Includes pictures *Includes Pinochet's quotes about his life and career *Includes contemporary accounts about Pinochet's reign and controversies about his human rights record *Includes online resources, footnotes, and a bibliography “Not a single leaf moves in this country if I'm not the one moving it. I want that to be clear!” - Pinochet For much of the 20th century, South American governments in large part lived under a system of military junta governments. The mixture of indigenous peoples, foreign settlers and European colonial superpowers produced cultural and social imbalances into which military forces intervened as a stabilizing influence. The proactive personalities of military heads and the rigid structures of such a hierarchy guaranteed the “strong man” commanding officer an abiding presence in the form of executive dictator. Such leaders often bore the more collaborative title of “President,” but the reality was, in most cases, identical. Likewise, the gap between rich and poor was often vast, and a disappearance of the middle class fed a frequent urge for revolution, reenergizing the military’s intent to stop it. With no stabilizing center, the ideologies most prevalent in such conflicts alternated between a federal model of industrial and social nationalization and an equally conservative structure under privatized ownership and autocratic rule drawn from the head of a junta government. Whichever belief system was in play for the major industrial nations of the continent, a constant bombardment of foreign influence pushed the people of states such as Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and others, toward overthrow, in one direction or the other. From the left came Stalinist influences from the Soviet Union and Castro’s Cuba, while the German World War II model and an anti-communist mindset from the United States worked behind the scenes to upset any movement toward extreme liberalism. The reign of Juan Peron in Argentina became the most iconic such arrangement to the Western observer, but General Augusto Pinochet’s 17 year rule over Chile after an American supported coup in the 1970s proved the most enduring and the most resistant to eradication by subsequent leaders of an opposite bent. Pinochet himself openly bragged, “My library is filled with UN condemnations.” By combating Marxists and Communists during the Cold War, Pinochet ensured he would at the very least remain undisturbed by America, even as he carried out policies that would be labeled tyrannical by any objective measurement. As writer Jacob C. Hornberger put it while analyzing appraisals of Pinochet based on political background, “[T]error in the name of fighting terror is a grave criminal offense against humanity no matter what economic philosophy the state terrorist happens to hold.” Having achieved unusual longevity, and with new legal cases being opened well past his death in 2006, Pinochet has continued to play a part in Chilean politics through a vast array of unfinished business surrounding his political life. Indeed, nearly 30 years after Pinochet’s reign ended, the Chilean dictator remains as controversial as ever, and he is often held out as the foremost example among critics of American intervention in the political affairs of other nations in the hemisphere. Augusto Pinochet: The Life and Legacy of Chile’s Controversial Dictator looks at the life of one of the most notorious Latin American leaders of the 20th century. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about Pinochet like never before.


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*Includes pictures *Includes Pinochet's quotes about his life and career *Includes contemporary accounts about Pinochet's reign and controversies about his human rights record *Includes online resources, footnotes, and a bibliography “Not a single leaf moves in this country if I'm not the one moving it. I want that to be clear!” - Pinochet For much of the 20th century, South A *Includes pictures *Includes Pinochet's quotes about his life and career *Includes contemporary accounts about Pinochet's reign and controversies about his human rights record *Includes online resources, footnotes, and a bibliography “Not a single leaf moves in this country if I'm not the one moving it. I want that to be clear!” - Pinochet For much of the 20th century, South American governments in large part lived under a system of military junta governments. The mixture of indigenous peoples, foreign settlers and European colonial superpowers produced cultural and social imbalances into which military forces intervened as a stabilizing influence. The proactive personalities of military heads and the rigid structures of such a hierarchy guaranteed the “strong man” commanding officer an abiding presence in the form of executive dictator. Such leaders often bore the more collaborative title of “President,” but the reality was, in most cases, identical. Likewise, the gap between rich and poor was often vast, and a disappearance of the middle class fed a frequent urge for revolution, reenergizing the military’s intent to stop it. With no stabilizing center, the ideologies most prevalent in such conflicts alternated between a federal model of industrial and social nationalization and an equally conservative structure under privatized ownership and autocratic rule drawn from the head of a junta government. Whichever belief system was in play for the major industrial nations of the continent, a constant bombardment of foreign influence pushed the people of states such as Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and others, toward overthrow, in one direction or the other. From the left came Stalinist influences from the Soviet Union and Castro’s Cuba, while the German World War II model and an anti-communist mindset from the United States worked behind the scenes to upset any movement toward extreme liberalism. The reign of Juan Peron in Argentina became the most iconic such arrangement to the Western observer, but General Augusto Pinochet’s 17 year rule over Chile after an American supported coup in the 1970s proved the most enduring and the most resistant to eradication by subsequent leaders of an opposite bent. Pinochet himself openly bragged, “My library is filled with UN condemnations.” By combating Marxists and Communists during the Cold War, Pinochet ensured he would at the very least remain undisturbed by America, even as he carried out policies that would be labeled tyrannical by any objective measurement. As writer Jacob C. Hornberger put it while analyzing appraisals of Pinochet based on political background, “[T]error in the name of fighting terror is a grave criminal offense against humanity no matter what economic philosophy the state terrorist happens to hold.” Having achieved unusual longevity, and with new legal cases being opened well past his death in 2006, Pinochet has continued to play a part in Chilean politics through a vast array of unfinished business surrounding his political life. Indeed, nearly 30 years after Pinochet’s reign ended, the Chilean dictator remains as controversial as ever, and he is often held out as the foremost example among critics of American intervention in the political affairs of other nations in the hemisphere. Augusto Pinochet: The Life and Legacy of Chile’s Controversial Dictator looks at the life of one of the most notorious Latin American leaders of the 20th century. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about Pinochet like never before.

30 review for Augusto Pinochet: The Life and Legacy of Chile’s Controversial Dictator

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cav

    This was a decent short read. I listened to the audio version on a recent road trip. It is a well-written, concise biography of Chile's most contentious leader. The book is non-partisan; it gives a brief historical background, and covers the acclaim, and the criticism of Pinochet. It talks about his rise through the military, his exemplary service, and his ultimate revolt against the Marxist government of Salvador Allende. The book continues on, talking about Pinochet's long reign, and his eventu This was a decent short read. I listened to the audio version on a recent road trip. It is a well-written, concise biography of Chile's most contentious leader. The book is non-partisan; it gives a brief historical background, and covers the acclaim, and the criticism of Pinochet. It talks about his rise through the military, his exemplary service, and his ultimate revolt against the Marxist government of Salvador Allende. The book continues on, talking about Pinochet's long reign, and his eventual arrest in Britain on behalf of Spain, who wanted to extradite him to face charges of human rights violations. The book closes with describing the climate in Chile after he stepped down in 1980, and the desire by many in Chile to have him face justice for the killings his government ordered. Some remember Pinochet as a horrible dictator, responsible for thousands of deaths - which he probably was. Others will remember Pinochet as a strong military ruler, who saved the country from Marxist ruin and related societal decay; establishing order out of chaos. Which, he also probably was... Wikipedia notes: "For most of the 1990s, Chile was the best-performing economy in Latin America, though the legacy of Pinochet's reforms continues to be in dispute.[24]" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augusto... Where is the *real* story? The reader can decide on their own. As Antony Beevor said: "History is never tidy." I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a short biography of Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte. I would be interested to read a longer version of this book, as well.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tadas Talaikis

    It's all business as usual for Chicago boys. "However, the reason behind the U.S. covert actions against Allende concerned not the spread of Marxism but fear over losing control of its investments." src It's all business as usual for Chicago boys. "However, the reason behind the U.S. covert actions against Allende concerned not the spread of Marxism but fear over losing control of its investments." src

  3. 4 out of 5

    Miebara Jato

    A short and concise book about the ruthless, murderous Pinochet.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brett

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ertan

  7. 5 out of 5

    Olivier Arsac

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jac Thomas

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dominic

  10. 4 out of 5

    Heiss

  11. 5 out of 5

    Hatchet Mouth

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

  13. 5 out of 5

    Luis Fernando Solari

  14. 5 out of 5

    Martin

  15. 5 out of 5

    Geehanwho

  16. 5 out of 5

    Carlos

  17. 4 out of 5

    Casey

  18. 5 out of 5

    Peer Nyberg

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lori Holt

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ess

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amy Hostetter

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bobby Scurlock

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ian Cilia

  24. 5 out of 5

    Marko

  25. 5 out of 5

    R. L.

  26. 5 out of 5

    P Mullane

  27. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

  28. 4 out of 5

    Piet Hein

  29. 5 out of 5

    David Cameron

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr.

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