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 examines the lost opportunities for creating a democratic revolution and the ways that the legacy of this period continues to resonate in Chile and beyond.
Marian E. Schlotterbeck is Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Davis.
“Marian Schlotterbeck’s illuminating study of students, workers, shantytown dwellers, and leftist activists in Concepción recasts the legacy of Chile’s remarkable era of political experiment and revolution. Grassroots initiatives of participatory democracy created experiences beyond the vanguardism and sectarianism that weighed more heavily in Santiago—and in historical narratives of the Allende era.”—Steve J. Stern, Alberto Flores Galindo and Hilldale Professor of History, Emeritus, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and author of Remembering Pinochet’s Chile
"Beyond the Vanguard is an indispensable book. Readers will be convinced that Chile’s thousand-day experiment in radical democracy was one of the most important events in twentieth-century history. Schlotterbeck writes with rare eloquence and deep empathy. A tour de force."—Greg Grandin, author of Kissinger's Shadow: The Long Reach of America's Most Controversial Statesman
“Schlotterbeck’s beautifully written and deeply moving account of Chile’s revolutionary New Left reinvents political history as vibrant and necessary social history. Beyond the Vanguard powerfully foregrounds the lived experience of solidarity among students, workers, and peasants as they created radical democracy on the ground. At the same time, few books have been so incisive about Chilean socialism’s internal fissures and failings. This is a stunning accomplishment.”—Heidi Tinsman, Professor of History, University of California, Irvine, and author of Buying into the Regime: Grapes and Consumption in Cold War Chile and the United States