The book How to Read Donald Duck is a critique of the supposed imperialist values inherent in Disney’s Donald Duck comic books. It was written by Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart in the 1970s after Chile’s Salvador Allende became the first democratically elected socialist in the Americas, and it quickly became a hit.
But then, the 1973 coup happened where Salvador Allende was ousted by General Augusto Pinochet. Dorfman was working for the Allende presidency at the time. So the Chilean writer’s life was put in danger, especially because he had taken aim at the beloved duck.
We find out how one small book changed an author’s life—and why the book is hard to find even today.
Featured Image: Courtesy of Ariel Dorfman. Santiago, Chile 1971.