In This Review

Modern Chile, 1970-1989: A Critical History
Modern Chile, 1970-1989: A Critical History
By Mark Falcoff
Transaction, 1989, 327 pp.

A vigorously argued contribution to the considerable literature analyzing the rise and fall of Salvador Allende's Popular Unity government in Chile, the only democratically elected Marxist regime in the hemisphere to date. Falcoff's emphasis is on political fault lines that made Allende's government vulnerable from the start: a weak electoral majority, an internally inconsistent governing coalition and an economic policy that polarized both its supporters and its opponents. In lawyer-like fashion, Falcoff counters the prevailing tendency, as he sees it, to exaggerate the U.S. role in weakening Allende's regime. A brief final chapter discusses the 16-year Pinochet dictatorship, the aftermath of Allende's three-year rule.