In December 1971, General Augusto Pinochet stated in an official speech, "Coups do not happen in Chile." Yet two years later, he played a key role in the bloody coup that felled the government of Salavador Allende and marked the end of the "Chilean Way" - the consitutional, democratic road to socialism. As US ambassador to Chile, Davis witnessed this turbulent period, and his firsthand observations, enriched by new evidence brought to light during the last decade, provide a vivid picture of the controversy that has become a topic of fierce international debate, following the arrest of General Pinochet in London in 1998. His portrait of Pinochet as a constitutional loyalist until shortly before the coup, a committed Christian, and a troubled individual at loggerheads with his fellow plotters at several crucial moments, offers a fascinating insight into the man.
The 1970 elections and Allende's first year; Castro and the empty pots; Chilean politics and troubles to the north; left extremists, miners, and truckers; military officers join the government; the tune of the March elections; to the Taricazo; the July-August crisis; ten days that shook Chile; the longest day; assassination or suicide?; the covert US role, 1971-1973; US actions and the coup; military government; reflections.