Los Economistas y el Presidente Pinochet
By Arturo Fontaine Aldunate
Editora Zig-Zag S. A., 1988, 203 pp.
A former director of Chile's leading newspaper and a strong supporter of the Pinochet government documents the process by which the country's authoritarian and nationalistic military leaders came to embrace relatively radical free-market economic concepts. Based on in-depth interviews with 33 knowledgeable insiders, the book details how a plan devised in 1972 by ten largely Chicago-trained economists dismayed at the economic deterioration under Allende came to revolutionize the country's economic policy. It recounts how the plan (dubbed "the brick") was presented to each member of the junta by noon the day after the 1973 coup, and was slowly and sometimes painfully discussed and transformed over the next decade. It is particularly strong on the behind-the-scenes debates among the military and their civilian technicians over economic policy, and on how ideas get translated into policy within a dictatorship.