The earthshaking news of October 1998 that General Pinochet had been arrested in Britain presaged two years of international interest in the case and its ramifications for traveling tyrants the world over. Now the General has returned home, but the ...
media has continued to ignore the important story of how his detention lifted a stranglehold that had suffocated Chile's moral sensibility for a generation. Award-winning journalist Marc Cooper was a translator to President Allende until the coup of 1973. In this memoir he reconstructs the tense atmosphere of the final days of the Allende government, including his hiding and subsequent evacuation under armed UN protection. Twenty-five years later he returns and describes, in vivid street-level reporting, a country that is a democracy in name only and a society that has been transfigured by one of the most radical, armed capitalist revolutions of our time. Yet, he argues, spasms of protest that seemed like the last rattle of the snake may still presage the crumbling of Chile's status quo as Allende's heirs in the Socialist Party, albeit "renewed," sweep into the Presidency.