Mining For The Nation: The Politics of Chiles Coal Communities from the Popular Front to the Cold…

Paperback | July 31, 2011

byJody Pavilack

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The dramatic story of Chile’s coal miners in the mid-twentieth century has never before been told. In Mining for the Nation, Jody Pavilack shows how this significant working-class sector became a stronghold of support for the Communist Party as it embraced cross-class alliances aimed at defeating fascism, promoting national development, and deepening Chilean democracy. During the tumultuous 1930s and 1940s, the coal miners emerged as a powerful social and political base that came to be seen as a threat to existing hierarchies and interests. Pavilack carries the story through the end of World War II, when a centrist president elected with crucial Communist backing brutally repressed the coal miners and their families in what has become known as the Great Betrayal, ushering Cold War politics into Chile with force. The patriotic fervor and tragic outcome of the coal miners’ participation in Popular Front coalition politics left an important legacy for those who would continue the battle for greater social justice in Chile in the coming decades.

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The dramatic story of Chile’s coal miners in the mid-twentieth century has never before been told. In Mining for the Nation, Jody Pavilack shows how this significant working-class sector became a stronghold of support for the Communist Party as it embraced cross-class alliances aimed at defeating fascism, promoting national development...

Jody Pavilack is Associate Professor of History at the University of Montana.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:July 31, 2011Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271037709

ISBN - 13:9780271037707

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Contents

List of Illustrations

Preface: Beginning at the End

Acknowledgments

List of Abbreviations

Introduction: Communists, Coal Miners, and Chilean Democracy

Part I Hopes and Promises

1. From Soldiers of Revolution to Citizen Workers

2. Challenging Exclusion: The Birth of the Popular Front in the Coal Region

3. From Tremors to Quakes: The Popular Front Wins the Presidency in 1938

Part II Collaboration and Conflict

4. Workers Contend with the Companies and the Popular Front Government, 1940–1942

5. “With a Bullet in His Heart and the Chilean Flag in His Hand”: Police Shootings in Lota, October 1942

6. “Soldiers of Democracy”: Collaboration and Conflict During World War II

7. General Strikes and States of Siege: Polarization in the Postwar Transition

Part III Rupture and Betrayal

8. “The People Call You Gabriel”: Communist-Backed González Videla Reaches the Presidential Palace

9. The Great Betrayal: González Videla and the Coal Miners’ Strike of October 1947

10. Democracy Under Siege: González Videla’s “Damned Law,” Internment Camps, and Mass Deportations

Conclusion: Coalition Politics in the History of Chilean Democracy

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

“[Jody Pavilack] does an excellent job of summarizing Chilean politics from the 1920s through the 1940s.”

—Michael Monteón, The Americas