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Remembering Pinochet's Chile: On the Eve of London 1998 (Latin America Otherwise) (Bk. 1) [Paperback]

Steve J. Stern
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 4, 2006 0822338165 978-0822338161 New edition
During the two years just before the 1998 arrest in London of General Augusto Pinochet, the historian Steve J. Stern had been in Chile collecting oral histories of life under Pinochet as part of an investigation into the form and meaning of memories of state-sponsored atrocities. In this compelling work, Stern shares the recollections of individual Chileans and draws on their stories to provide a framework for understanding memory struggles in history.


“A thoughtful, nuanced study of how Chileans remember the traumatic 1973 coup by Augusto Pinochet against Salvador Allende and the nearly two decades of military government that followed. . . . In light of the recent revelations of American human rights abuses of Iraqi prisoners, [Stern’s] insights into the legacies of torture and abuse in the Chilean prisons of the 1970s certainly have contemporary significance for any society that undergoes a national trauma.”—Publishers Weekly

“This outstanding work of scholarship sets a benchmark in the history of state terror, trauma, and memory in Latin America.”—Thomas Miller Klubock, American Historical Review

“This is a book of uncommon depth and introspection. . . . Steve J. Stern has not only advanced the memory of the horrors of the military dictatorship; he has assured the place of Pinochet’s legacy of atrocity in our collective conscience.”—Peter Kornbluh, author of The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability

“Steve J. Stern’s book elegantly recounts the conflicted recent history of Chile. He has found a deft solution to the knotty problem of evenhandedness in representing points of view so divergent they defy even the most careful attempts to portray the facts of the Pinochet period. He weaves a tapestry of memory in which narratives of horror and rupture commingle with the sincere perceptions of Chileans who remember Pinochet’s rule as salvation. The facts are there, but more important is the understanding we gain by knowing how ordinary Chileans—Pinochet’s supporters and his victims—work through their unresolved past.”—John Dinges, author of The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Continents


Frequently Bought Together

Remembering Pinochet's Chile: On the Eve of London 1998 (Latin America Otherwise) (Bk. 1) + Reckoning with Pinochet: The Memory Question in Democratic Chile, 1989-2006 (Latin America Otherwise) + Battling for Hearts and Minds: Memory Struggles in Pinochet’s Chile, 1973–1988 (Latin America Otherwise)
Price for all three: $66.06

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This first volume of The Memory Box of Pinochet's Chile: A Trilogy is a thoughtful, nuanced study of how Chileans remember the traumatic 1973 coup by Augusto Pinochet against Salvador Allende and the nearly two decades of military government that followed. "London 1998" in the subtitle refers, of course, to the arrest of the former Chilean dictator for human rights abuses. Combining oral histories with political analysis, Stern (chair of the history department at the University of Wisconsin at Madison) commendably delves into the stories of Chileans who supported Pinochet as well as of the families of his government's victims. Arguing that memory plays a key role in struggles for political and cultural legitimacy, he studies how individual memories compete for a place in the formation of a deeply symbolic, collective memory. Memory, he contends, functions within multiple frameworks: salvation, rupture, persecution and awakening. Nonspecialists at times may be frustrated by Stern's cursory references to related academic studies, yet overall he makes a serviceable effort to write for a general audience. In light of the recent revelations of American human rights abuses of Iraqi prisoners, his insights into the legacies of torture and abuse in the Chilean prisons of the 1970s certainly have contemporary significance for any society that undergoes a national trauma.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

Remembering Pinochet’s Chile will set the terms of the debate and become essential reading for all scholars and students of memory issues. . . . It is a pathbreaking book, the cutting edge of a major historical project. Steve J. Stern presents new information, particularly through oral histories, including those of Pinochet soldiers and partisans who have rarely been willing to be interviewed by scholars about the human rights violations of the era.”—Peter Winn, editor of Victims of the Chilean Miracle: Workers and Neoliberalism in the Pinochet Era, 1973–2002


“Steve J. Stern’s book elegantly recounts the conflicted recent history of Chile. He has found a deft solution to the knotty problem of evenhandedness in representing points of view so divergent they defy even the most careful attempts to portray the facts of the Pinochet period. He weaves a tapestry of memory in which narratives of horror and rupture commingle with the sincere perceptions of Chileans who remember Pinochet’s rule as salvation. The facts are there, but more important is the understanding we gain by knowing how ordinary Chileans—Pinochet’s supporters and his victims—work through their unresolved past.”—John Dinges, author of The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Continents


“This is a book of uncommon depth and introspection. In Remembering Pinochet’s Chile Steve J. Stern has not only advanced the memory of the horrors of the military dictatorship; he has assured the place of Pinochet’s legacy of atrocity in our collective conscience.”—Peter Kornbluh, author of The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability

Product Details

  • Series: Latin America Otherwise
  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books; New edition edition (September 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822338165
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822338161
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #824,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By criminy
Format:Hardcover
Steve Stern is probably the best regarded latin american historian in the western hemisphere. This book is not only about the events and the opinions leading up to the Sept 11, 1977 coup in Chile, but the problem of voice and narrative in historical texts. Stern effectively wrestles with the problem, providing not only a clear sense of personal stories of those living in chile prior to the coup, but providing a theoretical backbone to navigate the intense partisan narratives that swirl around the years of terror.

Stern is highly skeptical of the "official" voice of history, whether or not it supports recent reforms in Chile. Indeed, his text is part of the larger process of restorative justice that brings all the competing narratives to the fore. There are still people who love and admire Pinochet and, while many would be tempted to scorn and omit their stories, Stern's text does not dismiss their important voices.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very thought provoking and sad June 8, 2014
By Choho
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great read! Very insightful for thinking about how contested memories become national narratives. Looking forward to reading the next two.
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