A deeply affecting eyewitness account of a despicable period in Chilean history.

THE SOUTHERN TIGER

CHILE'S FIGHT FOR A DEMOCRATIC AND PROSPEROUS FUTURE

Former Chilean president Lagos lucidly recounts the extraordinary efforts to end the Pinochet dictatorship and lead the country to truth and reckoning.

The author was a protégé and colleague of Salvador Allende, the socialist president of Chile who was just three years into his term when a CIA-backed coup led by Pinochet precipitated Allende’s suicide during the storming of the presidential palace in 1973. Lagos was brought up in middle-class Santiago by his pianist and teacher mother; he was educated in left-wing politics and economics in the mid-’50s, and he received his doctorate at Duke University and became an academic. The work during Allende’s administration to render Chile a more just, equal society was shattered by the Pinochet dictatorship, which favored the neoliberal economics theory of the “Chicago Boys,” who advocated open markets and deregulation. Pinochet used economics as his ideological weapon, privatizing, deregulating, arresting labor activists, opening markets and inviting in private investors, thereby creating huge profits for the dictator and his cronies. After the initial economic success (used as a model by Margaret Thatcher and others), the exacerbation of the inequity between rich and poor and the ongoing repression of all opposition began to corrode Chilean society. As a result, Lagos and other idealists attempted to restructure the country’s socialist thought. By the mid-’80s, the Democratic Alliance became the first real challenge to Pinochet and was able to crack the prevailing fear and win the plebiscite in 1988, forcing Pinochet to step down. Because of the truth commissions advocated by Lagos and others, the enormity of Pinochet’s crimes were revealed.

A deeply affecting eyewitness account of a despicable period in Chilean history.

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-230-33816-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 18, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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