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Exorcising Terror: The Incredible Unending Trial of General Augusto Pinochet [Paperback]

Ariel Dorfman

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Book Description

20 Mar 2003
'This is an excellent, quick and powerful read, accessible to everyone' Publishers Weekly

On October 16th, 1998, the world awoke to amazing news: General Augusto Pinochet, Chile's former dictator, had been arrested by Scotland Yard in England & was awaiting extradition to Spain on charges of torture & genocide. What ensued became one of the most important human rights trials of the last fifty years: for the first time in the twentieth century, a former Head of State was being judged by a foreign court.

Renowned author Ariel Dorfman, obsessed for twenty-five years with the malignant shadow General Pinochet cast upon Chile & the world, followed every twist & turn of the four year trial in Great Britain, Spain & Chile as well as in the U.S., the country that had created Pinochet. Told as a suspense thriller, filled with court-room drama & sudden reversals of fortune, the book at the same time addresses some of today's most burning issues, made all the more urgent after the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001. What are the limits of national sovereignty in a globalizing world? How does an ever more interconnected world judge crimes committed against humanity? What role do memory & pain & the rights of the survivors play in this struggle for a new system of justice? But above all, the author, by listening carefully to the voices of Pinochet's many victims, explores how can we purge ourselves of terror & fear once we have been traumatized, and asks if we can build peace & reconciliation without facing a turbulent & perverse past.

From Dorfman's emotional reconstitution of the many phases of Pinochet's trial, both in London & in Santiago, there slowly emerges a picture of a victory, both for the people of Chile & for people the world over, serving as a prelude to the prosecution of other Heads of State - such as Milosevic in The Hague - but as a warning to many powerful men around the world - like Henry Kissinger - who felt they would never be held accountable for sufferings inflicted on faraway civilians.

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Review

This book is a small bomb. Its 224 pages explode in readers' hands and wound many in their deepest convictions. -- Observer Review, 13th April 2003

About the Author

ARIEL DORFMAN is a 'literary grandmaster' (Time) whose work constantly reveals how power and identity intersect, and has been hailed by the Washington Post as a 'world novelist of the first order' and by Newsweek as 'one of the greatest Latin American novelists.' His works, translated into more than thirty languages, include the acclaimed memoir, Heading South, Looking North, and the novels Blake's Therapy and The Nanny and the Iceberg,. The recipient of many international awards, Dorfman contributes to major newspapers worldwide. He is a distinguished professor at Duke University.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ignore the above review 4 Mar 2003
By Mr Tom Birtwistle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Although Dorfman's views of the years of dictatorship are driven as much by emotion and opposition as they are by fact, his book about the Pinochet regime and the subsequent human rights trial serves as an interesting document to the chilean experience of dictatorship.
The true extent of the horrors that occured in Chile may never be fully known but Dorfman's book about his experience of the dictatorship and his emotions as a Chilean is an essential document to the Chilean healing process.
Some of the passages are extremely well written and the end of the book in particular raises some intersting questions.
There are without question finer books concerning the period, but this is the most emotional work available and Dorfman's lament for Chile is at times very powerful.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Emotional but 10 July 2011
By D. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is informative only for someone who has slept through the past 3 decades. It starts out promising as a personal account but never goes beyond that.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading 29 Dec 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is essential reading for anyone wanting to comprehend the crimes of Pinochet and the complicity of the United States government. As is always the case with Dorfman's books, it is beautifully written.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recent Chilean History 21 Sep 2012
By Ian - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A well written history of the dark side of recent Chilean events by an experienced writer who actually lived through those perilous times - and who survived to tell the story as well as keep alive a chapter in the country's past that, once again, has to remind everybody of: "Never Again!"
3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exorcising Terror: The incredible unending trial of Augusto 29 Aug 2003
By J Rivera - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is basic to understand from a personal perspective how the chilean people suffered under this animal regime. It shows how all bullies, those who get theirs kicks hurting other human beings become pathetic cowards when they are asked to pay for their acts.
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