Reagan and Pinochet: the struggle over U.S. policy toward Chile

Morris Morley, Chris McGillion

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


This book is the first comprehensive study of the Reagan administration’s policy toward the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet in Chile. Based on new primary and archival materials, as well as on original interviews with former U.S. and Chilean officials, it traces the evolution of Reagan policy from an initial "close embrace" of the junta to a reevaluation of whether Pinochet was a risk to long-term U.S. interests in Chile and, finally, to an acceptance in Washington of the need to push for a return to democracy. It provides fresh insights into the bureaucratic conflicts that were a key part of the Reagan decision-making process and reveals not only the successes but also the limits of U.S. influence on Pinochet’s regime - centered around the challenge of creating a viable civilian alternative that was acceptable to both the junta and Washington. Finally, it contributes to the ongoing debate about the U.S. approach toward democracy promotion in the Third World over the past half century.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)
Number of pages338
ISBN (Electronic)9781316104217
ISBN (Print)9781107087637, 9781107458093
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


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