Cover image for Pinochet and me : a Chilean anti-memoir
Pinochet and me : a Chilean anti-memoir
Cooper, Marc.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London ; New York : VERSO, 2001.
Physical Description:
xiii, 143 pages ; 20 cm
Prelude: "My name in Pinochet": November-December 1971 -- Omen: Allende's dilemma: July 1973 -- Deluge: chronicle of a death postponed: September 1973 -- Aftermath: perpetual night: December 1975 -- Resistance: streets of fire: September 1983 -- Illusion: a transvestite democracy: January-March 1998 -- Resurrection: Adios General!: December 1999-September 2000.
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Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
F3100.C64 C64 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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The news of October 1998 that General Pinochet had been arrested in Britain presaged two years of international interest in the case and its ramifications for travelling tyrants the world over. Marc Cooper went to Chile and became translator to Salvadore Allende, the first democratically elected Marxist head of state. With an office in the Moneda Palace, the author had to flee as the US sponsored bombing on September 11, 1973 sent the palace up in flames.

Author Notes

Marc Cooper was a translator for President Salvador Allende at the time of the Chilean coup in 1973. His journalism has appeared in publications that include the New Yorker , Harper's and Rolling Stone . He is currently a contributing editor of the Nation magazine, and is the author of Roll Over Che Guevara: Travels of a Radical Reporter and Pinochet and Me .

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this brief yet expertly crafted remembrance, veteran American journalist and Nation contributing editor Cooper traces the fate of Chile from the overthrow in 1973 of its democratically elected Marxist president, Salvador Allende, to today. Cooper is no impartial observer. As a young man he was Allende's translator and shared his radical visions. (He also married into a Chilean family.) But it is the underlying sadness of crushed hopes and demolished dreams, conveyed in the crisp prose of a skilled observer, that makes this tale so compelling. Cooper takes the reader through the last desperate days of Allende's rule and the "dizzying dance of chaos and blood" of his overthrow. He reports on the dreary and dangerous nature of life in Chile in the 1970s and 1980s under the dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet. On returning to Chile in the 1990s, Cooper finds that while democracy has been restored, the political soul of the nation has been lost to a cynical individualism and mindless consumerism, stirred only by the arrest of Pinochet in England for the human rights violations of his regime. He finds in Chile an unwillingness to confront the past and remarks that without doing so the country can never really leave that past behind. In the end, this is a eulogy for the lost utopian longings of Chile, of Cooper himself and of so many of his generation. He writes, "Chile was not the prelude to my generation's accomplishments [but] our political high water mark." Cooper offers engaged reporting at its best. (Jan.) Forecast: Cooper's pro-Allende stance will mark this as a book for readers whose hearts remain on the left; the author's readers at the Nation, for instance, will find this account simpatico. Recent headlines regarding Pinochet will help as well. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Cooper calls this an "anti-memoir" because, he says, a memoir attempts to reassemble parts of a "forgotten or fading past," but in Chile the past has been "erased as if the internal magnets of historical retention...ha[ve] been given a massive jolt of electro-shock." Cooper (Roll Over Che Guevara: Travels of a Radical Reporter), a contributing editor to The Nation, was a translator for Salvador Allende until the Socialist democracy of Chile was overthrown by General Pinochet's coup in 1973. The author details his experiences and emotions during the days leading up to and immediately after the coup. He writes with dismay of the repression and economic inequity he has found on occasional visits back to Chile and laments the apparent refusal of the Chilean people to acknowledge the freedom and promise that the Allende government offered. Current conditions in Chile allow for historical examination of the Allende period and the brutality of the Pinochet era, and Cooper has written this "anti-memoir" to assist with both processes. Recommended for libraries with significant Latin American Studies collections.DJill Ortner, SUNY at Buffalo Libs. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Preface: Homage to Santiagop. ix
Prelude: "My Name is Pinochet" November-December 1971p. 1
Omen: Allende's Dilemma July 1973p. 17
Deluge: Chronicle of a Death Postponed September 1973p. 31
Aftermath: Perpetual Night December 1975p. 55
Resistance: Streets of Fire September 1983p. 71
Illusion: a Transvestite Democracy January-March 1998p. 82
Resurrection: Adios General! December 1999-September 2000p. 111
Acknowledgmentsp. 139