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“Without Yesterday There Is No Tomorrow”: Ricardo Lagos and Chile’s Democratic Transition

In April 1988, as Chile emerged from 15 years of total censorship under its most brutal dictatorship into its first electoral campaign since the 1973 military coup, a plebiscite was held on whether General Augusto Pinochet should rule the country for another decade. In a nation accustomed to controlled media, Socialist leader Ricardo Lagos was allowed a rare national TV appearance. Pointing straight at the camera, Lagos defied the dictator: “You promise the country eight more years of tortures, assassinations, violations of human rights,” he said. “It is unacceptable for a Chilean to have such ambition for power as to try to be in power for 25 years!” When his panicked interviewers tried to interrupt, he insisted, “I speak for 15 years of silence.”

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Four Trends Shaping the Big Apple

When the demonstrations for immigrant rights flared up around the country last year some members of New York City’s various immigrant groups participated, but the demonstrations here were a faint echo of those in other cities. The simple reason: New York draws substantial numbers of its immigrants from many different countries, continents, languages, and origins, while the majority of immigrants and the vast majority of undocumented immigrants nationwide originate in Mexico.

Remembering a Giant of Sociology

Seymour Martin Lipset, one of the giants of sociology in the 20th century, died on December 31, 2006, in Arlington, VA.

Marty Lipset shaped modern sociology by writing a string of classic works, nurturing a legion of eminent students, and radiating a kindness that warmed all those around him.

Copyright © 2007 by the American Sociological Association. All rights reserved.