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The Dictator's Shadow: Life Under Augusto Pinochet

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  74 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Augusto Pinochet was the most important Third World dictator of the Cold War, and perhaps the most ruthless. In The Dictator’s Shadow, United Nations Ambassador Heraldo Muñoz takes advantage of his unmatched set of perspectives—as a former revolutionary who fought the Pinochet regime, as a respected scholar, and as a diplomat—to tell what this extraordinary figure meant to ...more
Hardcover, 376 pages
Published September 2nd 2008 by Basic Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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Brian
Jan 15, 2012 Brian rated it really liked it
Heraldo Munoz, a former leader in the left movements of Chile, provides a look at the dictator Augusto Pinochet who ruled with an iron fist in Chile throughout the 1970's and early 80's. Munoz provides what he terms as a political memoir to look at the changes surrounding the regime from those who opposed it throughout the time of Pinochet. One point that has to be appreciated from this book is that while it captures the horrors of Pinochet's time it does not go through a categorical list of ...more
Julie
The history of Chile, from 1973 through 2006, is fascinating and not well enough known by the majority of U.S. citizens. This memoir, written by someone with first-hand knowledge of the events, is a comprehensive and fascinating summation of this tumultuous period, during which the Chilean people suffered greatly. The dictator in the title is General Augusto Pinochet, and for a long time, he ruled by fear and benefited from a fractured political landscape. This book tells the story of how the ...more
Michael Andersen-Andrade
May 13, 2015 Michael Andersen-Andrade rated it it was amazing
The Dictator's Shadow is a classic study on the makings of a right-wing dictator under the auspices of the American government. Never underestimate America's capacity to undermine democratically elected governments or to destroy social justice movements that threaten predatory capitalism.

"On November 6, 1970, only days after Allende's inauguration, Nixon presided over a National Security Council meeting on Chile in the White House cabinet room. Kissinger opened the meeting.

"All the agencies are
...more
Bap
May 20, 2009 Bap rated it really liked it
The NYTimes comments about this memoir that the author went to State Univ of NY at Oswego thinking it was a suburb of NYC. It si only a five hour drive. He returns to Chile and as Pinochet launches his coup he has unstable sticks of dynamite strapped to his chest lookimg for a target. Fast forward, he is now Chile's permanent representative to the UN.

Pinochet was not only a ruthless dictator but he was also a pragmatist and a survivor. He lived into his 90's (think Franco) and presided over the
...more
Kelsey
Jun 10, 2013 Kelsey rated it really liked it
It's a fairly dense book and not exactly something fun to read when I have reading for classes to do so it took me about 9 months to read it. That said, I don't know if I could have gotten a more clear picture of the Pinochet regime from any other source. For a fairly academic book, Munoz provided a lot of personal anecdotes that gave a clear picture of who Pinochet was. Munoz' own political views were apparent, so his take on some issues was certainly sided, but the purpose of the book was not ...more
Angela
Oct 17, 2009 Angela rated it liked it
Wow, this book just reminds me how little I know of the world, politics, and history. I choose to read this because Jonathan served his mission in Chile and had mentioned Pinochet before. I don't remember even knowing the name before that. So interesting, but very difficult for me to read. Difficult because of all the political stuff, millions of names of people I had never heard of, and just more intense than the normal read for me, thus it took me forever to get through it.
Cal
Jun 27, 2012 Cal rated it really liked it


Very interesting account of being on the "wrong" side ideologically. The writer stays fairly objective given his political allegiances ; recognizes some of the economic changes made under the regime were positive but at a very heavy price of human suffering and democracy. Good recent history.
Jenny
Nov 12, 2008 Jenny rated it really liked it
A well-written and informative account by Munoz (the current Chilean ambassador to the UN). Even though I've followed the Pinochet case obsessively for ten years, I still learned new information in this book.
Gregory
Oct 29, 2008 Gregory rated it it was amazing
This is a great book--I would highly recommend it for anyone interested in Pinochet and Chilean politics. It is very accessible for non-specialists, and offers a really interesting insider's view (Muñoz has held numerous high positions and is currently Chile's Ambassador to the UN).
Fredrick Danysh
Mar 12, 2013 Fredrick Danysh rated it liked it
Shelves: political, history
Chile has had numerous coups and dictators. The Dictator's Shadow looks at Pinochet's rise to power and his reign in Chile. The author also discusses his personal involvement in the socialist movement.
Ruth
A very detailed and heartbreaking account of Chile under Pinochet. And how even after his death, the legacy he left changed the lives of so many.
Raluca Sipos
Jun 28, 2013 Raluca Sipos rated it really liked it
I found the book to be exciting.I was definitely intrigued and curious about Chile's history after reading this book.
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