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Chile in Focus

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Code: 1 899365 18 4
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by Nick Caistor
1998

Summary:

Once a byword for military repression and human rights abuses, Chile's image is now that of a dynamic economic success story. The 'Chilean miracle', based on radical free-market reform and export-led growth, has been presented as a model for all developing countries. Yet this transition has also created its own social problems, challenging traditional values with the advent of extreme materialism.

Famed for its spectacular landscapes which range from glaciers to deserts, Chile is also home to a vibrant cultural life, exemplified by writers such as Pablo Neruda and Ariel Dorfman. Music, cinema and handicrafts reflect the country's artistic diversity as well as its mixed ethnic traditions.

Contents:

CHILE IN FOCUS explores:

* The land and people:
Deserts, islands and lakes; geographical and economic diversity; indigenous cultures; European immigration; the mestizo majority.

* The history and politics:
The independence struggle; democratic traditions; the Allende government; Pinochet's dictatorship; return to democratic consensus.

* The economy:
Diversification and sustainability; a model for Latin America?; copper, agriculture and industry; the agro-export boom; state involvement and privatization.

* The society:
Traditional values under strain; rural poverty and the urban middle classes; women's new roles; the human rights controversy and popular mobilization.

* The culture:
Popular song and new musical trends; Neruda, Dorfman and the literary tradition; artists and artisans.

* Where to go, what to see:
Must-see landmarks and historical sites as well as the author's expert tips on how to get the most out of a brief visit.

Nick Caistor is a journalist, translator and broadcaster and the author of Argentina in Focus (LAB, 1996)