The rather Byzantine nature of Chile’s social security system has always left me a bit confounded—even dazed. I knew that it was important, since it directly affected many Chileans’ retirement plans, health care, and family allowances, but until I read this book, I was unable to fathom the intricacies of it. This is one of the book’s many strengths: it simultaneously delineates the historical and political dimensions of Chile’s social security system and clarifies its specific laws and provisions. However, this book does more than explain Chile’s social security system, although that alone is a valuable contribution. It places the social security system in the context of twentieth-century Chilean politics and state development, offering a succinct, insightful assessment of these subjects. My one criticism is that Borzutzky does not include Chileans’ thoughts and voices on the social security system; that dimension would have...

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