FORGOTTEN CONTINENT: THE BATTLE FOR LATIN AMERICA’S SOUL By Michael Reid – Narrated by Gary Dikeos – Available from Blackstone Audio

May 12, 2011 No Comments by Administrator

Narrated by Gary Dikeos Available from Blackstone Audio

Castro – Somoza – Peron – Allende Pinochet – Ortega – Torrijos – Duvalier – Escobar – Chavez

The preceding is a short list of some of the more charismatic and notorious Latin American leaders documented in Michael Reid’s FORGOTTEN CONTINENT: THE BATTLE FOR LATIN AMERICA’S SOUL.  It was a pleasure to narrate this insightful and engaging book. Performing aloud this often dramatic history brought back vivid and visceral memories of growing up in Latin America.

I remember when in early 1973 in Mexico City, Salvador Allende arrived for a State visit. He was staying at the Chilean ambassador’s residence near our house. My brother and I had just come home from school and we heard a voice over a megaphone and lots of cheering so we went outside to see what all the commotion was about.There was a somewhat diminished crowd (by then they were off the main avenue and in our quiet residential neighborhood) waving the colorful flags of Chile and Mexico and following alongside a processional/parade in all it’s regalia. Allende was accompanied by Mexican president Luis Echeverria and uniformed soldiers of the Mexican army. The two Heads of State were sitting in the back of a Jeep (U.S. made vehicle, no less) waving to the crowd.   When the processional stopped, the two men exited the jeep, and my brother Mark went right up and shook Allende’s hand.

Less than six months later, just before the military coup and the storming of the presidential palace in Santiago, Chile that would bring military dictator Augusto Pinochet to power, Salvador Allende was dead – supposedly shot by his own AK47 assault rifle, a gift from Fidel Castro that had a gold plate engraved “To my good friend Salvador from Fidel, who by different means tries to achieve the same goals”  Was it a suicide as the official cause of death lists? or a CIA hit? – no one knows. And oddly enough (timing-wise), the government of Chile has scheduled an exhumation of the body of Salvador Allende on May 24, 2011 (two weeks from now) to try to find out more about how he was killed.


“Formidably well informed and written with exceptional clarity…[it] combines all the strengths of journalistic experience with an explanatory energy rarely found in scholarly volumes.”—Professor James Dunkerley, Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London 

“Michael Reid’s insightful book makes a compelling case for democratic reformism, not autocratic populism, as the way forward in the raging battle for the Latin American soul. A vivid lesson in history, it is a must-read for Latin Americans and all those interested in grasping the challenges of a vibrant and complex continent.” — Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former President of Brazil.

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