When the socialist politician Salvador Allende dramatically won Chile’s presidential election in 1970, a powerful cultural movement accompanied him to power as folk singers emerged at the forefront proving that music could help forge the birth of a new society. “Venceremos” charts the development of such a cultural phenomenon from the years before Allende’s victorious campaign to the brutal U.S.-backed military coup on September 11, 1973, which ousted his presidency and imposed the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. The bloody repression that followed would claim the life of Víctor Jara, a key singer-songwriter, but could never put to rest the lasting power of his songs nor the movement he personified.
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Gabriel San Román is a multimedia journalist. He is a former coproducer for KPFK Pacifica Radio and a writer for the Orange County Weekly. His work has appeared in numerous outlets, including Common Dreams, Truthout, and Z Magazine. He lives in Anaheim, California. T. M. Scruggs has taught at the Universidad Centroamericana, Florida International University–Miami, and was the sole ethnomusicologist at the University of Iowa. His research focuses on the use of music to construct social identity and effect change, primarily in the Americas. He lives in Berkeley, California.Review:
“Gabriel San Román provides a thoughtful and comprehensive overview of the New Chilean Song Movement. Chile’s music of the 1960s and early 1970s was not only a milestone in Latin American popular culture, its importance transcended the strictly artistic to assume social and political significance. San Román insightfully interweaves the music's artistic development with Chile’s tumultuous history of those years.” —James Brennan, professor and chair of history, University of California–Riverside
“A well-written history and analysis that never forgets what the subject matter is: music for the ages.” —Gustavo Arellano, editor, OC Weekly, and syndicated columnist, ¡Ask a Mexican!
"Venceremos highlights the power of culture - whether music or other artistic modalities - to foment change, raise consciousness and heighten excitement about the possibility of a better world." —Eleanor J. Bader, truth-out.org
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