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Reagan and Pinochet
The Struggle over US Policy toward Chile

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  • Date Published: January 2015
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781316191880

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About the Authors
  • This book is the first comprehensive study of the Reagan administration's policy toward the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet in Chile. Based on new primary and archival materials, as well as on original interviews with former U.S. and Chilean officials, it traces the evolution of Reagan policy from an initial “close embrace” of the junta to a reevaluation of whether Pinochet was a risk to long-term U.S. interests in Chile and, finally, to an acceptance in Washington of the need to push for a return to democracy. It provides fresh insights into the bureaucratic conflicts that were a key part of the Reagan decision-making process and reveals not only the successes but also the limits of U.S. influence on Pinochet's regime – centered around the challenge of creating a viable civilian alternative that was acceptable to both the junta and Washington. Finally, it contributes to the ongoing debate about the U.S. approach toward democracy promotion in the Third World over the past half century.

    • Based on new primary and archival materials
    • The first comprehensive study of the topic
    • Contributes to the ongoing debate about the US's approach toward democracy promotion in the Third World
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "While reams of scholarly writings have been published on the US role in the overthrow of Chilean democracy in September 1973, almost nothing of substance has been written on the US role in the denouement of the Pinochet dictatorship in 1990 - until now. Through astute analysis of a massive quantity of declassified US documents, Reagan and Pinochet has filled a major historical void. This is a compelling, definitive, and valuable study."
    Peter Kornbluh, author of The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability

    "Having conducted solid archival research and extensive interviewing of US and Chilean officials, Morris Morley and Chris McGillion have presented us with a fine study of the Reagan administration's policies toward the military dictatorship of General Pinochet. The administration successfully nudged Chile toward democracy, while simultaneously working to preserve the Chilean military's power and to marginalize popular and leftist movements. This study serves as a useful corrective to earlier celebratory accounts of the administration’s role in South America."
    Stephen G. Rabe, University of Texas, Dallas

    "Based on extensive research and oral histories, Morris Morley and Chris McGillion have produced the most comprehensive examination of Ronald Reagan's controversial relationship with General Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship in Chile. In the process, they challenge the Reagan administration's claims of success for its policy of a 'close embrace' and why it had to abandon this approach for a new policy that encouraged change in Chile. This work is an important addition to the burgeoning literature on American policy toward Chile, South America, and human rights."
    David F. Schmitz, Robert Allen Skotheim Chair of History, Whitman College, Washington

    "… this book is set to become the definitive account of US policy towards Chile in the 1980s. It makes a major contribution to our understanding of an important facet of the long, painful Chilean transition back to formal electoral democracy in 1990."
    Philip Chrimes, International Affairs

    "This important book surveys US relations with Chile during the two Reagan administrations as policy evolved from support of the Pinochet dictatorship to, eventually, active pressure from the US to complete a transition to democracy … Recommended for those interested in Latin American affairs, including undergraduate and graduate students as well as academics and professionals. Summing up: recommended."
    M. A. Morris, Choice

    "The book is not only a valuable addition to the literature on US-Latin American relations but it also augments our understanding of the foreign policy-making process in the United States by providing a detailed description of conflicts within the State Department; among the State Department, the Department of Defense, and the National Security Council; and between the bureaucracies and Congress. The authors highlight the messiness of the foreign policy process and show that policies are determined by those who win the foreign policy battles."
    Silvia Borzutzky, The Journal of American History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2015
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781316191880
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. In from the cold
    2. Turning the tide
    3. Dead ends in Chilean policy
    4. Changing tack
    5. Abandoning Pinochet
    6. Toward endgame
    7. Return to the fold

  • Authors

    Morris Morley, Macquarie University, Sydney
    Morris Morley is an Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Washington, DC. His books include Imperial State and Revolution: The United States and Cuba, 1952–1986, Washington, Somoza and the Sandinistas and, with Chris McGillion, Unfinished Business: America and Cuba after the Cold War, 1989–2001 and Cuba, the United States and the Post-Cold War World.

    Chris McGillion, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, New South Wales
    Chris McGillion coordinates the journalism program at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, Australia, and is a Senior Research Fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Washington, DC. He is a former editorial-page editor for the Sydney Morning Herald.

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