Book Burnings in Chile

Soldiers burning Marxist literature in Chile, 1973 (Hum Images/Alamy)
Soldiers burning Marxist literature in Chile, 1973 (Hum Images/Alamy)

Fifty years ago, on September 11, 1973, Chilean armed forces staged a coup that resulted in the death of leftist President Salvador Allende, the overthrow of the Popular Unity government, and the installation of a junta led by General Augusto Pinochet. In the aftermath of the coup, political opponents were rounded up and some put to death. Meanwhile, books associated with leftist authors were burned, as were magazines and newspapers, with the aim of eradicating the “Marxist cancer.” Further book burnings would take place in Chile during the subsequent 16 years of military dictatorship, most notably in 1986, when thousands of copies of Gabriel García Márquez’s Clandestine in Chile were confiscated and torched.

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Our Editors include Sudip Bose, Bruce Falconer, Stephanie Bastek, Jayne Ross, and Ellie Eberlee.


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