A recent wave of antigovernment protests in Chile that called for more affordable public education and health care, greater economic mobility, and a more inclusive democracy was spearheaded by high school and university students—the chilennials (millennial Chileans) of this book’s title. But older generations reminded these young people that their current living standards are far superior to those of their grandparents. This timely, readable study documents Chile’s sweeping transformation over the last 100 years from a dirt poor, semifeudal agricultural society into a modern, educated, and urbanized nation. These days, Chileans compare themselves not to their Latin American neighbors but rather to the developed nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, of which Chile is a proud member. Dosque and Valente beseech their fellow Chileans to “feel very proud and thankful” for these achievements and for the century of social struggles that made them possible, even as they warn against complacency. The authors fear that a lack of appreciation for the nation’s history might lead to a misdiagnosis of its current troubles that could jeopardize hard-won progress. This valuable, persuasive text should be required reading in all Chilean high schools.
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