LATIN AMERICA: The Hopeful Option by Eduardo Frei

LATIN AMERICA: The Hopeful Option

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Eduardo Frei, the Christian Democratic President of Chile from 1964 to 1970, analyzes latin America's political situation and proffers a prescription. The book is divided into three complementary essays. The first considers the current crisis of Western Civilization--the failure of confidence, shrinking resources and the threatened quality of life, the power of Marxism and other anti-democratic ideologies. Jacques Maritain's Christian humanism is suggested as a means for confronting these problems. To Maritain and Frei, there is of course nothing exclusively Christian in the promotion and defense of social and political democracy for the purpose of fulfilling human needs. In the second essay, Frey considers the specific crisis of Latin America, where, due to the weaknesses of the region's sociopolitical structures, the ideologies of contemporary European extremisms have had a greater impact than on their home grounds. The third essay outlines a program for establishing political and social democracy. Frei, well aware of the complexity of current conditions, admits that a prerequisite for the implementation of his program is a change in ways of thinking and feeling, but he has faith that a prophetic minority may bring this about. Those seeking an account of the unhappy events in Chile, following Frei's term in office, will not find it here, but his view of those events is clear--they were mainly the result of extremisms grinding down the center. A book useful for the coherent exposition of a neglected current of Latin American political thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1978
Publisher: Orbis