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“We Can Get a Coup”: Warren Nutter and the Overthrow of Salvador Allende

Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology: Including a Selection of Papers Presented at the 2019 ALAHPE Conference

ISBN: 978-1-80071-141-9, eISBN: 978-1-80071-140-2

ISSN: 0743-4154

Publication date: 1 March 2021

Abstract

In 1969, Warren Nutter left the University of Virginia Department of Economics to serve as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs in the Nixon administration. During his time in the Defense Department, Nutter was deeply involved in laying the groundwork for a military coup against the democratically elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende. Although Nutter left the Pentagon several months before the successful 1973 coup, his role in Chile was far more direct than the better-known cases of Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, James Buchanan, and Arnold Harberger. This chapter describes Nutter’s role in Chile policymaking in the Nixon administration. It shows how Nutter’s criticisms of Henry Kissinger are grounded in his economics, and compares and contrasts Nutter with other economists who have been connected to Pinochet’s dictatorship.

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Acknowledgements

Acknowledgments

This chapter benefited significantly from comments on earlier drafts from Andrew Farrant, Peter Kornbluh, and David Levy, Edward Nelson, and two anonymous referees. I am grateful to Matheus Grasselli for help with Portuguese translation. I am grateful for Jenny Fichmann’s assistance with the G. Warren Nutter Papers at the Hoover Institution Archives, for Mary Curry’s assistance with the Digital National Security Archives, and for the library staff’s assistance with the William J. Baroody Papers at the Library of Congress. This research was not supported by funding and was conducted independent of my work at the Urban Institute.

Citation

Kuehn, D. (2021), "“We Can Get a Coup”: Warren Nutter and the Overthrow of Salvador Allende", Fiorito, L., Scheall, S. and Suprinyak, C.E. (Ed.) Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology: Including a Selection of Papers Presented at the 2019 ALAHPE Conference (Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, Vol. 39A), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 151-186. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0743-41542021000039A009

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