In This Review
The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability

The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability

edited by Peter Kornbluh

New Press, 2003, 528 pp.

There are two types of what Theodore Draper called "present history." The first is based on documents and testimony accessible to all historians: assertions and interpretations can be checked, verified, and contested on the basis of fact rather than speculation. Both Draper and, in his own way, I. F. Stone were brilliant practitioners of this kind of history and demonstrated that, despite the best (or worst) intentions of bureaucrats to hide or distort the record, much could be found in the public domain if diligently sought after. The second approach to writing about contemporary history is based on anonymous "sources"

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  • Kenneth Maxwell is Director of Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. His most recent book is Naked Tropics: Essays on Empire and Other Rogues.
  • More By Kenneth Maxwell