When the Romance Ended: Leaders of the Chilean Left, 1968-1998


The unanticipated arrest of General Augusto Pinochet in London on October 16, 1998 served to punctuate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the most cataclysmic event in Chilean history -- a violent coup d'etat that abruptly ended decades of democratic rule. A steadily increasing series of explorations, interviews, and images in the popular press and media has begun to unearth the horrors of the dictatorship and its defenders and to reevaluate the stories of the democratically elected Allendists the coup had brutally purged. Based on interviews and analysis of a generation of young leaders of the Chilean political elite who came to power with Allende's election in 1970, When the Romance Ended focuses on how Allende's followers conceptualize and justify their political objectives and programs through the course of their political victory, violent defeat, and gradual return to politics during Chile's redemocraticization process. Examining the 1960s generation's program of revolutionary social transformation, as well as the integral role the group played in the return to democracy in Chile, Hite explores what happens to the political identities of leaders such as these in a context of traumatic political upheaval and change.

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