This review is more of a response to two of the other reviews thus far. One review writes completely of the chilean road to socialism section of the book (and everything thereafter in the book), and never mentions anything before this last section of the book, despite that section only being the last 80 pages, thus leaving the first 330 pages to obscurity; it seems as though this reviewer read the last 80 pages of the book and left the rest untouched. Beyond this, the section the reviewer commented on was unbelievably balanced, pointed out clearly the economic difficulties of the Unidad Popular era, but also pointed out the money dedicated to social programs.
As this same reviewer wrote, it is important for foreigners to study the history of Chile. And as Collier wrote in the introducion, "a fresh eye can sometimes be cast over the changing chilean scene from outside" (p. xv). From this perspective, I think Collier and Sater do a wonderful job covering the history of chile from 1808 to 2002. In fact, they have done such a good job that I have seen this book (in spanish translation) on college syllabi in Chile.
Another reviewer wrote that the book semmed as though it was "written by an undergraduate: A compilation of a bunch of facts from many sources (usually without a reference)." Im not sure what this person knows about Simon Collier, but he was visiting professor in chile in 1994 and 2002 and was so important to the writing of Chile from outside of chile that in 2000, he recieved from the Chilean state la orden Bernardo O'Higgins en el grado de 'Comendador', and was a Miembro Correspondiente de la Academia Chilena de la Historia. When he died, a book and conference (in Chile) were due to his great importance in Chilean history.
The reviewer also remarks on the lack of citations, although in the introduction they write exactly what the book will foot note and what they will not. With the amount of imformation in this book, it is comforting to have a well organized at the end of the book on suggested further reading with comments by the authors on most books suggested.
Overall, this book, although dry at times (as a history student, I know that it is hard to find a history book that doesnt drift into dryness every now and then), was enjoyable and gives any person that wants a general overview of the history of chile, just that: a general overview. And Collier and Sater knew this, as they wrote in their introduction: "Our aim in this book is to present a general account of Chile's history as an independent nation-state for English-language readers...." The suggested reading secion is great for furthering your insight into chilean history, as well. Also, the added sections on "culture" add a lot to the book, such as the section that talks about Nueva Cancion, something any person visiting Chile should know about (I have been in gatherings here in Chile where the entire night was spent singing Nueva Cancion music).