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Audacity to Believe [Paperback]

Sheila Cassidy
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

31 Jan 2011
The moving story of Sheila Cassidy, who as a young doctor went to work in Chile and became caught in the terrible injustice of the country - injustice which led to her own arrest, imprisonment, torture and expulsion.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Darton Longman & Todd; New edition edition (31 Jan 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0232519870
  • ISBN-13: 978-0232519877
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 333,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book has resurrected my love of reading. It is the autobiography of a young British doctor who went to work in Chile, in the 1970s, and was tortured and imprisoned because she offered medical treatment to a wounded revolutionary.
Sheila Cassidy writes with great honesty, describing her own naivity. She describes the political situation in Chile in just enough detail for the reader to understand the situation, without getting bogged down with political issues. She mentions her Christian beliefs, but the book is not full of spiritual matters. She simply describes her own experiences, in a fascinating and thought-provoking way. This book caused me to think deeply, and to be thankful for things which I usually take for granted - such as freedom. As well as being thought-provoking and greatly my knowledge of Chile and of human rights, the book is also quite simply a good read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars enlightening 22 Nov 2009
Bought this book many many years ago and have only just got around to reading it.The title made me think it would be heavy on the religious theme but not at all.
Written in 1977 after her release from a Chilean jail this book tells of the horrific treatment she received at the hands of the Pinochet regime.Although Sheilas naivety shows like a burning candle in the darkness,this true story of the terrible times after the ousting of the Allende government is enlightening as to the history of that era and troubling as to what man can inflict on his fellow man.
The imposed curfews on the whole population and the disappearances of local people to unknown but dreaded fates is vividly portrayed.
Yes,Sheila constantly refers to her Christian faith and the battle that is going on within her. She feels fatefully drawn to life as a nun,but struggles to give up her life with all its comforts{pre jail},priviledges,and satisfaction in her working life as a doctor. She draws comparisons with her prison life and endurance to that of Christ on the way to the cross.You may agree with this or see it as a naive way of looking at life,but you cannot fail to be impressed with her management of physical and mental pain and hardship.
Definite reading for anyone studying recent Chilean history.
Perhaps also a definite read for all those youngsters,fresh from Uni, who venture into foreign lands with the idea that they will be immune to any political upheaval and that their embassy will be a guardian angel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Drama on many fronts 13 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The content of this book is deeply shocking. It relates to the author's time in Chile before and after the Pinochet coup in 1973. Arrested for treating a wounded counter revolutionary Dr Cassidy was subjected to shocking torture and imprisonment. While the book does relate some of her general experience in Chile (and before) the focus is on the arrest, torture, incarceration and finally release and deportation.
Some of the descriptions are graphic and not pleasant reading - so why do I give the book 5 stars?
* The history is fascinating. My education is Anglo-centric and although I was interested in current affairs as I grew up in the 70s I was very ignorant of what went on with the brutality of the fascist regime which murderously overthrew the democratic socialist government of Salvador Allende.
* Access to a reliable first hand account of the operation of the secret police is quite an eye-opener. The author relates what happened to her because she believes it is right that people know what happened - and thus what can easily happen again. And her accounts are not motivated by hatred for those who did unspeakable things to her - rather she pities.
* She does not write as a saint. She is very honest about her own feelings, emotions and failings. While she pities the men who torture her she is consumed by the fear - her resolution to protect friends is worn away - and she is very frank about her lack of fortitude (I believe she was much stronger than I would have been)
* The experience is set in the context of her own journey through life. At the time of her arrest she was exploring the possibility of laying aside her medical work to become a nun.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tough but true story 6 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having recently visited Chile and seen some of the places where the events described happened, and having met Sheila Cassidy on an unrelated course some years ago, this account hit home.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring (spiritually) & Informative-socially & politically 4 April 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This is an amazing book. I lent it to a friend and never got it back and it is one of those books you have to keep so your children can read it. First half is an account of what Chile was like during the Pinochet years and the last half is about what Cassidy's life was like from being torutured to being in prison to searching for her vocation. IF you care about justice, struggle, re-birth, and where God is in all of this, this book is for you. You learn what life is like for those who have to struggle for and with it. Peace to all of you.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars book review 12 Oct 2010
By Tr Narayanaswamy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent book surprise. clearly written non partisan and honest.happy person who tried to do good and got entangled in events not of her making and came out with dignity honor and more importantly her innocence faith and candour intact and unchanged. Unusual individual with qualities, not seen.
Her memory for details names of individuals and events are alluring.Chile has lost with her going and wherever she goes she has to do good.
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