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Analysis – Weavers of Revolution

Peter Winn, Weavers of Revolution: The Yarur Workers and Chile’s Road to Socialism, (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1986).

The grassroots revolution in Chile presents a pivotal moment in the history of Latin America, revealing a clear departure from previous violent movements found in Cuba, Argentina and Mexico. Instead, Chile experiences nonviolent change through the Yarur Mill strike.  The process proves to be a dramatic build up to a short-lived social victory, rapidly extinguished by a violent counterrevolutionary coup led by General Augusto Pinochet in 1973.  Unlike the revolutionary power plays at the top levels of government in Argentina and Mexico, Chile experiences dual top-down and bottom-up social revolutions.  Historian Peter Winn takes a journalistic approach, weaving together first-hand accounts with interviews of those in the center of the worker struggle.  The result is a compelling narrative framed to leave the reader cheering for the underdogs – the Yarur workers.

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