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A History of Chile, 1808-2002 (Cambridge Latin American Studies) [Paperback]

Simon Collier , William F. Sater
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

18 Oct 2004 Cambridge Latin American Studies (Book 82)
A History of Chile chronicles the nation's political, social, and economic evolution from its independence until the early years of the Lagos regime. Employing primary and secondary materials, it explores the growth of Chile's agricultural economy, during which the large landed estates appeared; the nineteenth-century wheat and mining booms; the rise of the nitrate mines; their replacement by copper mining; and the diversification of the nation's economic base. This volume also traces Chile's political development from oligarchy to democracy, culminating in the election of Salvador Allende, his overthrow by a military dictatorship, and the return of popularly elected governments. Additionally, the volume examines Chile's social and intellectual history: the process of urbanization, the spread of education and public health, the diminution of poverty, the creation of a rich intellectual and literary tradition, the experiences of middle and lower classes and the development of Chile's unique culture.

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A History of Chile, 1808-2002 (Cambridge Latin American Studies) + A Nation of Enemies: Chile Under Pinochet (Norton Paperback) + Pinochet in Piccadilly: Britain and Chile's Hidden History
Price For All Three: £43.50

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (18 Oct 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521534844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521534840
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 15 x 22.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 494,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"Collier and Sater have written the best general history of modern Chile available in any language. It is vast and comprehensive in scope, solid and dependable in factual information, reliable and complete in its sources, and consistently delightfully written." Choice

Book Description

A History of Chile provides an overview of Chilean history which will appeal to the general reader as well as the specialist. Employing primary and secondary materials, it analyses the nation's political, economic, and social evolution from Chile's independence to 2002.

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First Sentence
The first Europeans arriving in Chile were charmed and captivated by its natural beauty and generally moderate climate. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for uni 24 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I used this book to learn about Chile for a course - it has ALL the information I needed in it!
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a review 28 Nov 2005
By J. Savala - Published on Amazon.com
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).
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Competent Academic History 24 Oct 2006
By Thomas J. E. Schwarz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As some of the reviews indicate, recent history of Chile is controversial and an effort like this one will not find universal approval. The authors have written a concise, readable history of Chile for the general reader (e.g. without giving sources to everything they cite). The stated aim of the authors is to give a "basic narrative of political events" combined with "descriptions of broader economic and social tendencies" and occasional sections on culture. I think they succeeded well. Throughout the work, the authors'quest for fairness shines through.

The work is very readable with occasional instances of wit and humor, but the writing is not brilliant and fascinating. The very last chapter was added in the second edition and is not completely integrated, but still brings up the history of Chile to almost the present. Despite rare typo's, the editing is competent.

I personally found it a good read about a fascinating topic.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just the facts, ma'am 16 Feb 2014
By Joshua Weiss - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Apparently purposed as a textbook, this tome reads as such. Full of excellent research and unbiased on the whole (to my amateur eye), it's thorough but doesn't exactly invigorate the senses. A solid accompaniment to travel in Chile, as your experiences there will flesh out the straightforward details presented here.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilean history 15 Dec 2010
By Carl Algo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great book. I was born in Chile, 66 years ago. So to me the book is a very detailed narrative of main events that constitute the history of Chile. A language ease to read.
34 of 63 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting in the past, not the whole truth in the present. 6 Oct 2000
By Juan Alberto Diaz Wiechers - Published on Amazon.com
It is very important that foreigners study the history of Chile. But sometimes it is better to know the reality of the country and have an impartial view towards recent historical facts. For instance, the book does not tell how Alende's regime was driving the country to become a communist state, and how the extremist forces of the "Unidad Popular" were preparing a civil war against the bourgeois institutions. The military uprising of September 1973 was invoked by the Chilean Supreme Court and the Chilean parliament, as the only way to avoid that my country would be turned into a second Cuba. That is the real fact, and the origin of the military government. Said government commited some abuses, but restored Chile's economy and by its own will reestablished democracy. And we, Chileans, will always remember that were saved from a communist-started civil war, which would have brought not 3.000 (the total number of victims of represion) but millions of deads. So, when foreign historians write regarding Chile, they should be more careful when taking into consideration the true realities which we lived in the sixties and seventies.
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