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Chile: Death In the South Paperback – Oct 12 1988


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 133 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (Oct. 12 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067972012X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679720126
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 14 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Timerman describes the ordinary Chilean's survival tactics in a society where one can be arrested without reason, and where thousands have been tortured, murdered or "disappeared" by right-wing squads. He presents a shocking portrayal of the daily horrors of life under General Pinochet's dictatorship. The well-known Argentinian journalist and author of Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number discusses the pauperization of Chile's middle class, massive poverty and unemployment, the drying up of cultural life. Interwoven with his short narrative are testimonies from Chileans who were tortured or raped while in prison. Timerman skims over the U.S. role in propping up the military regime it helped install, and his proposals for dislodging Pinochet seem wishful thinking. Still, his report is a powerful and disturbing call to conscience.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Timerman's new book is at once a meditation, essay, and report on life in Chile under the dictator Pinochet. Each chapter concludes with the testimony of someone who has suffered under the present military government. Timerman, himself a victim of torture under the former military government in Argentina, places himself in strong opposition to what he sees as the most vicious dictatorship in Latin America today. This is a dramatic and moving statement written with the clarity of a newspaper reporter and the fervor of one who suffered under similar regimes. N.P. Cushner, SUNY, Empire State Coll.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
As Timerman is an Argentine, I expected him to equate Pinochet with the Argentine military rulers. This is not what he does. He makes Pinochet the focus on his topic of evil. Well 3,000 (not 700 as Timerman states) people were murdered or disappeared in Chile compared to over 20,000 in the Argentine. Pinochet did rule using fear and torture. He also stabilized the country and built up the infrastructure. If you were only to read Timerman's book, you would think very few people favored Pinochet. I can assure the reader there are elements in Chile (not a majority) who think Pinochet did the right thing. Well, Timerman's viewpoint is from the left, and not very objective.
I loved Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number. Timerman's other books are suspect. He writes from a leftist objective. Allende was a terrible President of Chile, and yet we don't hear those viewpoints. I believe Pinochet was bad too. Torture, disappearing people, and murder should not be used as a tool to suppress people. What you read in Timerman's books colors Pinochet's rule, but not Allende's regime. If you are biased, you might as well be biased in all your writings. There are some good books out there describing Pinochet's rule. Please consult Soldiers in a Narrow Land, or Chile under Pinochet, A Nation of Enemies. These are much more objective, and the reader will not suffer the leftist bias.
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Format: Hardcover
Chile, 1987. Gen . Augusto Pinochet is in charge, frmly these last 14 years. NO OPPOSITION is brooked, though, somehow some members of the Roman Cathoilic diocese of Santiago, trudge onward,reaseraching,protesting standing up in a country ruled by Fear.The Left has been nuetered by the coup of 1973 and the continual kidnappings and tourtures,made to inspire and breed fear. Th USA,its puppet government firmly in place, acres not a whit for any human rights abuses,they are in the nebulous realm of "fighting communism'. It is against this backdrop that Mr. Timerman,already taking on Argentina and Israel{and soon Cuba},arrives in chile.He repeatedly comments on the all pervasive fear.Pope John Paul II's visit to Chile is highlighted, and Timerman gives the pontiff high praises for his handling of Pinochet and the Military,his meetings with human rights workers,and ultimately,hi inability to actually change anything at that moment.Timerman leaves with the thoughts that soemhow Pinochets days are numbered{though it would be awhile for some form of normalcy to return to this country}Another in the Timerman canon, and well worth reading, espiecally now that Pinochet is to stand trial for some of his crimes.
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By A Customer on Jan. 2 2000
Format: Hardcover
As with all of Timerman's books, "Chile" is a very well written, yet politically motivated, insight into the social climate of Chile circa 1987.
Timerman's theme is that Chileans, under Pinochet, romanticized the past under Allende and were therefore unable to look to building a future without Pinochet.
The major drawback was that Mr. Timerman committed the same offense that he accused Chileans of: romanticizing Chile and proposing no real solution for the overthrow of Pinochet. By way of example, Timerman drew a very sharp line between the Chilean military and the Chilean population. He insisted that the Chilean left, failing to act out of fear, never made any significant advance to the Chilean military to propose the overthrow of Pinochet. I believe that Timerman failed to consider that the "fear factor", which he attributed to the mainstream population, may have plagued the military as well.
Despite this, the book is well worth the read. At the end of each chapter are testimonies to America's Watch, outlining the horrible tortures that Chileans underwent during the Pinochet regime.
Timerman's writing, is, once again, well crafted. He is truly an accomplished story teller.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Pinochet is evil and the streets flowed with blood. Dec 13 2003
By Kevin M Quigg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As Timerman is an Argentine, I expected him to equate Pinochet with the Argentine military rulers. This is not what he does. He makes Pinochet the focus on his topic of evil. Well 3,000 (not 700 as Timerman states) people were murdered or disappeared in Chile compared to over 20,000 in the Argentine. Pinochet did rule using fear and torture. He also stabilized the country and built up the infrastructure. If you were only to read Timerman's book, you would think very few people favored Pinochet. I can assure the reader there are elements in Chile (not a majority) who think Pinochet did the right thing. Well, Timerman's viewpoint is from the left, and not very objective.
I loved Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number. Timerman's other books are suspect. He writes from a leftist objective. Allende was a terrible President of Chile, and yet we don't hear those viewpoints. I believe Pinochet was bad too. Torture, disappearing people, and murder should not be used as a tool to suppress people. What you read in Timerman's books colors Pinochet's rule, but not Allende's regime. If you are biased, you might as well be biased in all your writings. There are some good books out there describing Pinochet's rule. Please consult Soldiers in a Narrow Land, or Chile under Pinochet, A Nation of Enemies. These are much more objective, and the reader will not suffer the leftist bias.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Chile - another victim of the Cold War March 12 2003
By Rolland W. Amos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a sober, little book. The author had earlier in life been kidnapped, imprisoned, tortured and exiled by the military government in Argentina. In this book (published in 1987) he writes about similar hardships being experienced by Chileans under the rule of General Pinochet.
Pinochet took control of Chile in 1973 after President Salvadore Allende was assassinated. Prior to Pinochet there had been no military coup in Chile in a hundred years and there had been no serious military involvement in Chile's government in some 40 years. Chileans had generally loved their country, enjoyed their culture and their simple but well ordered lives, and were living in one of the most stable democracies in Latin America - in the `England of the South'. Pinochet's military coup changed all that.
Allende had become Chile's president in 1970. His goal was to modify the economic and social structure that kept that country backward and underdeveloped. He wanted to improve the lives of the people by moving the country to the left, along a `peaceful path to socialism'. Enroute, however, he encountered big problems - from his political left, center, and right - and from his geographic north (i.e., the U.S.). Allende's enemies
would later say that (though democratically elected) he was an incapable leader, that his administration was chaotic, that his policies precipitated labor strikes, that his nationalization of industries and his deliverance of land and factories into the hands of farmers and workers was wrong. Something had to be done, they said, to stop the chaos, or, maybe even a civil war.
Allende had various opponents, but his chief enemies, ascertained later, were the CIA, the U.S. government, and U.S. business interests in Chile (see Seymour Hersh's book, "The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House"). (U.S. Cold War and Truman Doctrine considerations dictated that no Communists may be permitted to take over the government or territory of any non-Communist country anywhere, period!, so,
socialist or Marxist leaders like Allende were automatically enemies - while the enemies of any socialist or Marxist leaders, like Allende, were acceptable friends of the U.S.)
So, with U.S. aid and blessing, Pinochet assumed power. His opponents were immediately arrested or shot. Five weeks into his reign soldiers helicoptered into four remote towns, removed all political prisoners (62) from their jail cells and shot them. Such executions demonstrated dramatically to all that Pinochet intended to rule with an iron hand. Since Pinochet respected Hitler, Franco and Peron, he now employed their
techniques. Very quickly the military controlled all major institutions in the country - including TV, radio, newspapers, publishers, schools and universities, movie studios, etc. Anyone who failed to cooperate was arrested, beaten, tortured, raped, etc. All women prisoners had to be raped - because that destroyed them psychologically and emotionally! One million of Chile's 11 million inhabitants fled the country. Military
police always possessed broad powers to control the population, but in 1980 their powers were further expanded and codified with the passage of 21 explicit, repressive laws, which became part of the constitution. These laws authorized arbitrary arrest without formal charges, internal exile, arbitrary restriction of personal liberties, restriction or prohibition of domestic and foreign travel, restricted freedom of the press, restricted
dissemination of information , restrictions on speech, restrictions on the right to work, restricted rights of assembly, limits on the formation of professional associations or
workers' unions, establishment of censorship, confiscation of personal property, and, finally, limitations on property rights. Basically, Chilean citizens had no rights whatever
under Pinochet.
Under Pinochet the Chilean economy declined and poverty became widespread. Many people must now rely on charity and food lines to survive. Meanwhile, military personnel have prospered (with their own housing, commissaries, hospitals, guaranteed
employment, good pay, etc.). By 1985 the richest had enjoyed under Pinochet a 30% increase in their standard of living; the bottom 40% had experienced a 50% drop. Low ranking soldiers can further supplement their incomes by extracting fines and bribes, or confiscating property from those forced to violate the law in order to survive - like prostitutes, thieves, vendors, beggars, curfew violators, etc.
Chileans, to survive, try to maintain a low profile - `submarining' they call it. They must be ever vigilant when dealing with strangers and guard against accidentally
criticizing the government. The government, ever concerned about its own survival, will, at times overlook certain minor violations of the law (creating `safety valves') - but their
enforcement of the law is always arbitrary - to instill fear. Some theaters or poetry reading venues, for example, may sometimes operate, for example, if their seating capacity does not exceed 150 - an unthreatening number. Chileans try to create for themselves an `alternate' lifestyle - i.e. where possible, they find employment and free-time pursuits that are politically `safe'. Eventually, even terrorized Chileans began
demonstrating sometimes against government policies that offered no jobs and no food, but Pinochet has an 18,000-man force always ready to control such demonstrators - and to jail or kill as many people as required - 3, 10, 50, 100 - to restore order.
Chileans have become philosophical about their lot. Military dictators in other Latin American countries, they note, are generally replaced by democratic governments within
15-20 years. Pinochet at this time has been in power for 14 (3 to go!). History also shows that no force (other than the military, itself) is capable of overthrowing a military
dictatorship - once installed - ergo, Chileans are biding their time, waiting and hoping for Gen. Pinochet to just go away. He's probably in no hurry, however, since he's living
quite comfortably. While Chileans starve, Pinochet resides in a 4-story home (15,000 square feet) with 3 basements (with bunker) located on 20 acres, with gardens, a 200-car garage (yes, two hundred), a sports complex, a heliport, tennis courts, an
Olympic-sized swimming pool and his own private highway into the city. Cost: an estimated 10-13 million dollars.
(Note: The Chileans were right: a democratic government was installed in 1989).
Review of "Chile" Jan. 2 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As with all of Timerman's books, "Chile" is a very well written, yet politically motivated, insight into the social climate of Chile circa 1987.
Timerman's theme is that Chileans, under Pinochet, romanticized the past under Allende and were therefore unable to look to building a future without Pinochet.
The major drawback was that Mr. Timerman committed the same offense that he accused Chileans of: romanticizing Chile and proposing no real solution for the overthrow of Pinochet. By way of example, Timerman drew a very sharp line between the Chilean military and the Chilean population. He insisted that the Chilean left, failing to act out of fear, never made any significant advance to the Chilean military to propose the overthrow of Pinochet. I believe that Timerman failed to consider that the "fear factor", which he attributed to the mainstream population, may have plagued the military as well.
Despite this, the book is well worth the read. At the end of each chapter are testimonies to America's Watch, outlining the horrible tortures that Chileans underwent during the Pinochet regime.
Timerman's writing, is, once again, well crafted. He is truly an accomplished story teller.
Excellent,biting very well written Feb. 5 2001
By A. Hogan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Chile, 1987. Gen . Augusto Pinochet is in charge, frmly these last 14 years. NO OPPOSITION is brooked, though, somehow some members of the Roman Cathoilic diocese of Santiago, trudge onward,reaseraching,protesting standing up in a country ruled by Fear.The Left has been nuetered by the coup of 1973 and the continual kidnappings and tourtures,made to inspire and breed fear. Th USA,its puppet government firmly in place, acres not a whit for any human rights abuses,they are in the nebulous realm of "fighting communism'. It is against this backdrop that Mr. Timerman,already taking on Argentina and Israel{and soon Cuba},arrives in chile.He repeatedly comments on the all pervasive fear.Pope John Paul II's visit to Chile is highlighted, and Timerman gives the pontiff high praises for his handling of Pinochet and the Military,his meetings with human rights workers,and ultimately,hi inability to actually change anything at that moment.Timerman leaves with the thoughts that soemhow Pinochets days are numbered{though it would be awhile for some form of normalcy to return to this country}Another in the Timerman canon, and well worth reading, espiecally now that Pinochet is to stand trial for some of his crimes.


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