For a thousand days in the early 1970s, Chileans experienced revolution not as a dream but as daily life. Alongside Salvador Allende’s attempt to democratically bring about a socialist regime, new understandings of the meaning of revolutionary change emerged. In her groundbreaking book Beyond the Vanguard, Marian E. Schlotterbeck explores popular politics in Chile in the decade before Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship and provides an in-depth account of how working-class people transformed the existing social order by embracing radical politics. Schlotterbeck eloquently describes how even though Chileans failed to capitalize on an opportunity for democratic revolution, the legacy of their effort still resonates in Chile and beyond.
Marian E. Schlotterbeck is Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Davis.