In this compelling narrative history, Peter Winn tells the story of the Chilean revolution as it was seen through the eyes of the participants. Winn focuses on workers at the Yarur plant, Chile's largest cotton mill, who seized control of their factory and began to socialize its operations. Allende's plans were less radical than their own and the workers found themselves on a collision course with the government. Winn, who interviewed both the workers and Allende
while many of these events were taking place, captures the turning point in Chile's "democratic road to socialism"--in both the presidential palace and the Yarur mill. He demonstrates how the revolution was "forged from below" and explains political complexities that arose from the workers'
confrontation with Allende, complexities that have both eluded American understanding and frustrated U.S. foreign policy. Integrating oral history and penetrating analysis, the book offers a striking new explanation of how revolutions are radicalized. A major reinterpretation of the Allende era in Chile, this book is also a human drama that exemplifies "the new narrative history" at its best.
"Excellent book."--Gregory Crider, Drake University
"The most useful of all my assigned supplementary texts. Students enjoyed reading it and felt they gained real insights into the causes of revolution...Provided a sustained and enthusiastic discussion."--Bill Donovan, Loyola College in Maryland
"Well-written and accessible for a general audience."--Latin American Research Review
"Provides valuable insights into one of the central dynamics of the short-lived Popular Unity government of Chile....No other work concretely takes us to the factory floor to examine the internal tensions of this revolutionary process."--Science and Society
"[A] terrific book. Students loved it and learned a lot from it."--Jeffrey Rubin, Amherst College
"A landmark in Latin American history and a leading example of the new social history in practice....Winn has combined the finest elements of historical work, a dramatic, human, and moving story recounted in the language of the main actors of the drama and woven into the larger context of its time and place....Written in a lively and often eloquent style...reads more like a novel than a scholarly work."--Hobart Spalding, The Americas
"A richly textured...magnificent and much needed account of the most human and democratic phase of the Chilean road to socialism."--James Petras, The Nation
"A marvelously good book; one of the best published on Latin America in the past few years."--Arnold Bauer, University of California at Davis
"Rich, vivid and fine in the telling...one of the outstanding historical studies to appear in the great wave of new scholarship on Latin America in the last twenty years."--John Womack, Harvard University
"A long-needed and well-written corrective to the simplistic views that have shaped too much of our understanding of the pivotal years in the U.S.-Latin America relationship."--Walter LaFeber, Cornell University
"A major contribution...a gracefully written treatment of a subject of international interest....Rather than furnishing more polemics or speculation about the behavior of the Chilean proletariat, he lays bare the complexities and contradictions of working-class maturation, politicization, divisions, doubts and hopes...an elegant, pathbreaking volume."--Paul Drake, University of California at San Diego
"A landmark book both for labor studies and for Latin American history as a whole....Integrating the story of the Yarur workers into the larger national history of which they formed a part, and focusing carefully on the reciprocal interactions between events at the national level and at the Yarur plant, Winn provides us with a brilliant example, written in vivid and gripping prose, of how 'to fuse history from above with history from below'."--Reid Andrews,
Journal of Social History