Reckoning with Pinochet is the third book in Steve J. Stern’s trilogy, which historicizes the “memory question” in Chile from 1973 to 2006. This volume details an unfinished struggle between opposing “memory camps” to define politicocultural legitimacy in the years after 1990. The story features contested versions of recent history: the military coup of 1973 as a salvational mission of the armed forces against the possibility of civil war, and communist domination versus the coup as rupture with a previous democratic tradition, followed by a brutal dictatorship that massively violated human rights. Stern concludes that the struggle by human rights activists and other community groups, reinforced by the transnational human rights movement, gradually overcame, or at least partially overcame, Chile’s tradition of elite pacts and periodic political amnesties to instill a new awareness of human rights violations and to press for accountability in...

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