The Overthrow of Allende and the Politics of Chile, 1964-1976 (Magill's Literary Annual 1978)
In 1970 Salvadore Allende was the first Marxist to be democratically elected president of a Latin American country. Depending on their ideological predispositions, observers looked forward to Chile’s future hopefully or fearfully. In 1973 Allende’s government was overthrown, producing another ideologically determined chorus of praise and criticism. For people of all ideological persuasions it would be instructive to learn how and why Allende came to power, as well as how and why he was replaced and by what. Unfortunately, our ability to evaluate these events has been limited by partial and ideologically biased accounts. We have needed a thorough examination of the available evidence and a sorting out of the causes and consequences, rather than an attempt to find evidence to support an ideologically predetermined interpretation of events. It is this sort of evaluation that Paul E. Sigmund has attempted to supply.
Sigmund is well suited for this task. He is a Professor of Politics at Princeton University who has studied the ideologies of developing nations in general, political thought in Latin America in particular, and Chilean politics as well. He also had a firsthand opportunity to come to understand Chile when he taught at two Chilean universities in Santiago in 1967. He went there again in 1970 to observe the 1970 elections. Nor were these fairly lengthy stays his only direct exposures to the Chilean context. He had first visited Chile in 1963 and...
(The entire section is 2350 words.)
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