By bringing to light the political and economic secrets of Argentina's Videlista regime (1976-81), Seoane and Muleiro reflect on the behavior of societies under authoritarian regimes, the nature of state-sponsored terrorism, and the impact of past economic policies on present-day Argentina. These experienced and respected journalists have made a significant contribution to the understanding of contemporary Argentine history. As they collected documents and interviewed witnesses for this book, the authors came to believe that the central question in their investigation was whether what they consider the greatest tragedy in Argentine history could have been the product of the peculiar circumstances that allowed an insignificant man to take power. Hannah Arendt wrote convincingly on "the banality of evil" in her psychological sketch, Eichmann in Jerusalem, and here Seoane and Muleiro are equally skillful in portraying an enigmatic character remembered as either a model officer or a cold assassin. Videla himself granted them four interviews during which he acknowledged his role in the "dirty war" against political opponents from 1976 to 1983. The archival documents, secondary sources, chronologies, tables, and other materials included in the addenda will prove valuable to future researchers. Recommended for academic libraries, and bookstores with patrons interested in historical research and dictatorships. Ceres Birkhead, Univ. of Utah Lib., Salt Lake City Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.