Story of a Death Foretold: The Coup against Salvador Allende, 11th September 1973

Oscar Guardiola-Rivera. Bloomsbury, $30 (512p) ISBN 978-1-60819-896-2
In this densely packed history, Latin American expert Guardiola-Rivera (What If Latin America Ruled the World?) provides an exhaustive study of the career of Salvador Allende, one-time president of Chile and the world’s first and only democratically elected Marxist. In placing Allende’s tenure as president and his eventual deposing by military coup into context, Guardiola-Rivera casts a wide net, exploring a myriad of factors that led to his election, including the revolutionary spirit personified by Che Guevara, and the inevitable involvement of the U.S. through the CIA and Henry Kissinger, among others. But this is more than a story about Allende; it is a far-ranging, passionate look at a suddenly-important part of the world during a period of political turbulence, another battlefield in the Cold War and a front in an ideological clash between democracy and socialism. The author argues that, for all of Allende’s flaws and mistakes, his brief but vital reign as president was far superior to what replaced it. Guardiola-Rivera writes with authority, but his convoluted, circuitous style—scholarly with a hint of poetic—might appeal more to academics than general readers. Nonetheless, Guardiola-Rivera has produced one of the most comprehensive books on 20th-century Latin American politics. Agent: Sophie Lambert, Conville & Walsh Literary Agency. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/09/2013
Release date: 11/05/2013
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