Affiliate(s): Southwestern Historical Association, Southwestern Social Science Association
Psychedelic Chile: Youth, Counterculture, and Politics on the Road to Socialism and Dictatorship (University of North Carolina Press, 2017) by Dr. Patrick Barr-Melej, past president of the SSSA, was recently listed as one of the “Historical Studies of 2017 to Highlight” by Santiago, Chile’s major daily newspaper La Tercera. Barr-Melej is Professor of History at Ohio University.
The book illuminates modern Chilean history with an unprecedented chronicle and reassessment of the sixties and seventies. During a period of tremendous political and social strife that saw the election of a Marxist president followed by the terror of a military coup in 1973, a youth-driven, transnationally connected counterculture smashed onto the scene. Contributing to a surging historiography of the era’s Latin American counterculture, Barr-Melej draws on media and firsthand interviews in documenting the intertwining of youth and counterculture with discourses rooted in class and party politics. Focusing on “hippismo” and an esoteric movement called Poder Joven, Barr-Melej challenges a number of prevailing assumptions about culture, politics, and the Left under Salvador Allende’s “Chilean Road to Socialism.”