by Edward Boorstein ‧ RELEASE DATE: July 18, 1977
Having served as an assistant to the manager of the Chilean Central Bank and, later, to Allende's economic adviser, Boorstein (The Economic Transformation of Cuba) is better equipped than other American Chile-watchers for this sort of book. After a condensed but helpful summary of significant trends in Chilean economic and political history, Boorstein tackles the prime problems faced by Allende's Popular Unity (UP) government--inflation, domestic and external opposition, etc.--and the futile attempts made to deal with them. He emphasizes the difficulties that arose from the administration's inability to control the Congress, a Congress that wouldn't, for example, approve the taxation which Allende considered an essential weapon against inflation. Boorstein also describes the efforts mounted by US corporations, the CIA, and other Washington agencies to destabilize the UP regime, bringing together material available elsewhere (the reports of Congressional investigations), but also drawing on his own experiences as an adviser with the Chile Trading Corporation. Although basically supportive of Allende's actions, Boorstein does argue that the UP policy-makers lacked a coherent conception of how to expand the government's power; they underestimated the importance of political education, especially for the lower classes and the military. Throughout, Boorstein's ""calculation of forces"" is sometimes mechanical, and his theoretical framework may be naive--obsessed with strategy and tactics while nowhere making any attempt to divine or defend anyone's ultimate goals--but he has provided an informative and sobering affidavit on the never-quite-closed Allende case.
Pub Date: July 18, 1977
Page Count: -
Publisher: International Publ.
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1977
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