Beyond the Vanguard: Grassroots Movements and the Making of Revolutionary Chile
The manuscript Beyond the Vanguard: Grassroots Movements and the Making of Revolutionary Chile reframes the study of the Latin American Left and its relationship to grassroots activism. The Cold War in Latin America witnessed the defeat of leftist political projects and the consolidation of military dictatorships across South America. For decades, the taboo surrounding the period of armed struggle in Latin America and the revolutionary left’s violent rhetoric inhibited scholars, and others, from conducting balanced evaluations of this period. According to most treatments, at best, these young revolutionaries were misguided idealists turned victims of state terrorism, at worst, their irresponsible call to arms brought repression upon themselves and society at large. My case study of Chile’s much-maligned Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria (MIR) recovers the revolutionary left’s forgotten tradition of grassroots organizing.